Pensioner told ’13-year-old girl’ she was ‘sexy’ and he wanted to marry her
A paedophile told who he thought was a 13-year-old girl he “wanted to marry her” and told her he was sexually attracted to her.
When he found out he had been talking to a decoy, he claimed he was lonely following the death of his partner.
Pensioner Andrew Garnett, of Cardiff, began talking to a teenage girl called Athena in October last year after sending her a friend request on Facebook.
He said: “Hi, I’m Andy from Cardiff in Wales, UK. How are you doing?”
The decoy messaged back and told the 65-year-old she was 13 years old and repeated her age in subsequent messages.
But Garratt began attempting to sexually groom the decoy and told her she was “sexy, beautiful and gorgeous” and said he was sexually attracted to her.
Prosecutor Marian Lewis told a sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday the defendant told the decoy her eyes and hair “turned him on”.
He later said he wanted to meet the decoy but told her that if he had sex with her he would “go to prison” because it was “against the law”.
Ms Lewis added: “He also told her he dreamed about her and told her she was wearing a long PVC coat and underneath she was naked.
He said she seduced him and made passionate love to him. He said in four years time if he was still around he would marry her.”
Garratt also told the decoy to delete any conversations between them so her parents wouldn’t see them. He said if they were discovered both she and him would get into trouble.
Arrangements were made for the defendant to meet the decoy, at which point the messages were passed to a local paedophile hunter group and the police.
On February 10, they attended Garratt’s home in Roath where he was arrested and his electronic devices were seized. In his police interview he admitted the conversations but denied wanting to have sex with the girl.
Garratt, of Princes Court, later pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child.
The court heard he had 16 previous convictions as well as a caution for indecent assault from 2000.
Sentencing, Judge Jeremy Jenkins said: “What you described and what you said in those communications was utter filth and you should be utterly ashamed with yourself for engaging in it.”
He expressed sympathy for Garratt’s loss but added: “Many men would not have descended to the level you did in communicating with what you knew to be a 13-year-old girl.”
Garratt was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment suspended for two years.
He was also ordered to carry out a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement, to attend an accredited programme for 40 days, and to pay court costs of £420.
He was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for five years and to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.
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