July 2020

Rhys Jelly spared jail after sending explicit messages to 13-year-old girl

A judge has blasted a father who sent sexually explicit messages to a 13-year-old girl on social media as “a predator”.

Rhys Jelly, 25, of Glanyrafon Terrace, Abertillery, used a fake Facebook profile where he posed as an 18-year-old boy – when aged 24 – to engage in conversation with an underage girl between November 2018 and January 2019.

The messages were only discovered when the girl’s phone was confiscated after she had been the victim of bullying, the court heard. police.

Andrew Kendall, prosecuting, told Cardiff Crown Court that Jelly was well aware that the girl was underage.

“He asked how old she was. She said she was 14, when in fact she was 13. Mr Jelly asked what she looked like, and she sent him photographs,” said Mr Kendall.

“He asked if she was single, and asked if she would like to join him in a hot tub.”

The defendant messaged the girl about her underwear, and asked if she “wanted to earn some money.”

When she asked him what he wanted her to do, he described a sex act.

Addressing the defendant, Judge Catherine Richards said: “You didn’t know how vulnerable she was. You didn’t care. You used her for your own gratification.

“You offered her money and made wholly unacceptable sexual suggestions.

“Teenage girls should be able to use the internet without having to worry about predators like you.

“Your behaviour is incomprehensible when you have a daughter of your own.”

Jelly had pleaded guilty to causing or inciting a girl under the age of 16 to engage in sexual activity (no penetration) while over the age of 18.

He was given an eight month sentence, suspended for two years.

Judge Richards also ordered Jelly to take part in the Horizon Programme – a scheme working to prevent re-offending among sex offenders – undertake 36 days of rehabilitation activities, and 100 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years and was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for the same period of time.

Jelly must also pay a £140 surcharge