Chorley man exchanged sexual messages with paedophile hunters posing as teenage girl

Magistrates' Court
Magistrates' Court

A man who was reported to police by a self styled ‘paedophile hunters’ group has admitted attempting to engage in sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl.

Liam Matthew Griffin, of Stratford Road, Chorley, was involved in an online conversation with a person he thought was a teenage girl on February 4, Preston Magistrates’ Court was told.

The 20-year-old also admits a further charge of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, which relates to him having a ‘sexual conversation’.

READ MORE: Watch the moment paedophile hunters confront 46-year-old man who believed he was meeting a 12-year-old schoolgirl

Griffin, who has learning difficulties, was permitted to sit in the main body of the courtroom during the hearing, accompanied by a social worker and specialist nurse.

Prosecuting, Neil White said: “ It appears the defendant became involved in exchanging messages with a girl he believed to be 13.

“He admitted in interview that although she gave different ages he did eventually believe her to be 13.

“The person he was messaging were adults who were pretending to be children to ensnare people.

“During the course of the conversation he did ask for pictures of her naked breasts.

“Some pictures of naked breasts were, in fact, sent to him.”

Defending, Laura Walmsley said the defendant suffered from Aspergers - a form of autism - and learning difficulties.

She added: “ This pseudo person actually appeared in the ‘people you may know’ section of Facebook, so it’s not a case he went out seeking a 13-year-old girl.

“It was a very juvenile conversation that went on that did become criminal and he accepts that.

“It’s a case I would have hoped would have been disposed at the police station because of the content and extent of the messages - he’s not a predatory paedophile.”

District Judge Margaret McCormack committed the case to be sentenced at Preston Crown Court.

He is next expected to appear there on November 18.

He was given unconditional bail in the meantime, and must have a pre sentence report prepared.

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