Northampton man made up fake family member fantasy to chat to underage girls online, court hears

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A 42-year-old Northampton man, who went under the username 'I love piercings', to explicitly chat to underage girls on an foreign online forum, has been handed a 34-month sentence.

He also breached a sexual harm and prevention order issued by Northampton Magistrates' Court and failed to adhere to the sexual offences register, the court heard.

Lee Murray, formerly of High Street, Weston Favell, was sentenced in Northampton Crown Court yesterday (August, 15) after pleading guilty to two counts of breaching a sexual offenders order, failure to comply with notification requirements and three counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He pleaded not guilty to one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Sentencing, judge Michael Fowler said: "When considering the sentence in relation to offences, I have regarded that sexual activities with children did not take place but you were discussing them at a level that included penetration."

Back in January this year, Murray entered an online chat forum under the identity 'I love piercings' - not registered with police - and spoke to four girls under 16 years old via his mobile phone.

In one message thread with a 14-year-old girl, prosecuting, Almas Ben-Aribia said the defendant's conversation started with him claiming that he had a private part of his body pierced while he posed as a 30-year-old man, 12 years younger than his actual age.

He also made up a fake family member to entice girls to chat with him.

The defendant was later arrested and interviewed on June 15, 2017.

"He told police in his interview that he got a sexual thrill from the chats," the prosecution added.

He accepted he had not registered the name 'I love piercings' with police and that the family member was made up.

Murray, who appeared via video link, was sentenced to 34 months and has been placed on the sex offenders register for life.

Defence barrister Ammolak Bains said: "He made full and frank admissions to offences."

He was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for 15 years and is banned from working with children.

He will serve half of the prison sentence in custody and the rest on licence.