A 23-year-old Northampton man was given a suspended sentence after being found guilty of trying to persuade two 14-year-old girls on Facebook to have sex with him.
Daniel Blair was handed a nine-month suspended sentence at Northampton Crown Court and was found guilty of trying to incite intercourse with a child, being in possession of indecent material and extreme pornographic images on his laptop and phone, and of distributing one extreme pornographic image.
Over the course of one week in November 2016, Blair had been interacting with two 14-year-old girls on Facebook after they contacted him, and the court was told he was aware of the girls' age.
During the conversations, the court heard, Blair made it clear he wanted to have sex with them and was trying to arrange a meeting for later in the week.
The prosecution told the court of the effect on one of the victims. She had felt anxiety, stress, depression and had been feeling down.
The ordeal had affected her social activities with her friends, and she had attempted to take her own life.
Sentencing, Judge Lucking said that despite no previous convictions, due to the impact on the young victim the case had crossed the threshold of a custodial sentence.
However, the sentence was suspended as Blair was considered to have a realistic prospect of rehabilitation because he was young and had made it clear he was willing to work with any relevant authorities to help with his behaviour.
His defence barrister told Judge Lucking his client was of previous good character, accepted what he did was "completely wrong and incorrect" and that he apologised to the victims in this case.
Blair was given five months and eight months for his other offences, but they are to run concurrently with his nine months sentence. He received a 25 per cent credit for his guilty plea.
He was put on a sex offender programme and handed a sexual harm prevention order.
As part of the conditions of the order, Blair cannot delete his browser history and if asked by the police is obliged to provide his ISP, IP address, username and passwords to any delegated representative.
He can’t install anything that can be used to mask browsing or an anonymous browser such as a TOR browser (which can be used to access the dark web).
He can’t download still or moving images, can’t use a private browsing mode, can’t use or install a peer to peer file sharing software, and can’t dispose of digital devices.
He is unable to contact or speak to any person under 18 unless the child’s parents or guardian(s) are present and they are made aware of the defendant’s criminal convictions.
The order is in place for 10 years and should it be broken, Blair would face a five-year prison sentence.