A pervert sent messages to a '12-year-old girl' on Snapchat saying that he would spank her and take her virginity, a court heard.
Jack Bowker engaged in sexual conversations with the 'girl' despite her age being 'mentioned on several occasions'. The 29-year-old did not realise that he was in fact speaking to an undercover police officer, the Liverpool Echo reports.
The conversations on the social media app began innocently before becoming sexual. Liverpool Magistrates Court heard yesterday (November 9) how Bowker sent messages about 'spanking' the 12-year-old's backside, lying in bed with her and getting an erection, having oral sex and taking her virginity.
Prosecutor Callum Bryce said Bowker also sent selfies to the account but did not send any explicit images. The conversations took place between July 2021 and November 2021.
After receiving a warrant, officers searched Bowker's home in Leasowe, Merseyside, on November 9, 2021 and seized electronic equipment, but they did not arrest him. He attended a police interview in April 2022 and admitted to sending the messages.
Bowker, of Twickenham Drive, Leasowe, then pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child. In mitigation, Colin Rawson pointed to his client's lack of previous convictions, that he made a prompt guilty plea and had been fully cooperative with police.
Mr Rawson said Bowker 'has difficulties engaging with other people' and he 'rarely leaves his own address', making contact with people primarily through social media. Mr Rawson said Bowker's conversations with the account began nicely but 'sexual contact crept into the conversation'.
He said the age of the 'girl' was 'mentioned on several occasions' and Bowker 'has to recognise he is an offender'. Sentencing, District Judge Timothy Boswell told Bowker, that though he was not actually conversing with a child: "You didn't now that when you engaged in chats" and said his reason for sending the messages was "to obtain sexual gratification".
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The judge added: "You do not regard yourself as a paedophile". He explained this can happen with some offenders of this nature, adding: "Some people struggle to accept the type of person their offending makes them".
Judge Boswell told Bowker there was 'work to be done to challenge your perception of yourself'. Addressing Bowker, he added: "You knew what you were doing". and handed him a six month sentence, suspended for 18 months.
Bowker was also given a seven year Sexual Harm Prevention Order, while he will also have to undergo a 30 day rehabilitation programme and perform 160 hours of unpaid work. The Sexual Harm Prevention Order requires Bowker to notify police of any device with internet access, while he is not allowed to delete or alter his internet history.