A 48-year-old man convicted of grooming young girls has been jailed for more than three years at Isleworth Crown Court in Middlesex.
Ian Alexander of Rowland Way, Ashford in Middlesex had pleaded guilty to eight offences at an earlier hearing at the same court.
The jury heard that, in May 2012, Alexander had been convicted of possessing prohibited images of children and had been made subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, placing strict prohibitions on his contact with young people and his use of computer equipment.
However, the court heard that, in 2013, a 13-year-old girl received a friend request on Facebook, which apparently came from a 15-year-old boy called Daniel. The request had come from Alexander and he went on to make repeated attempts to meet the girl.
On 21 March 2014, Alexander had travelled from his home in Ashford to Feltham Park to meet her – however, the girl had taken friends with her.
While at the park, she received a message from Alexander – still using the name Daniel – saying that he could see her. However, one of the girl’s friends became concerned and decided to call the police and tell them what was happening.
Officers attended and searched the park but did not find Alexander. Police then began an investigation to find out who the person claiming to be Daniel was. Examination of the girl's phone revealed that Alexander had been grooming her for sexual purposes.
Investigations into the phone he was using and the Facebook account led to police officers identifying an address – and on Friday, 4 July 2014, detectives from Hounslow went to Alexander's house in Ashford and arrested him.
At the house they recovered three phones which Alexander had used to contact the young girl – as well as a computer used for similar purposes.
The phones showed that Alexander had also been contacting other young girls. He had contacted another teenage girl pretending to be a boy called James who was aged 15.
Alexander had attempted to manipulate the girl into meeting him – even telling her that James had died and he was James' father and wanted to meet her. However, the girl had refused to meet him.
During the search, police also took away Alexander's computer for examination. Communications found on phones and computers were of a sexually explicit nature and provided further evidence of six breaches of Alexander’s Sexual Offences Prevention Order. The court heard that one of the people Alexander was contacting appeared to be a nine-year-old girl.
The court sentenced Alexander to a total of three years and five months in prison and he was made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
After sentencing, Detective Sergeant Martin Siertsema of Hounslow CID, said:
“Ian Alexander – who was already a registered sex offender – used social networking, messenger services and also text messages to contact and groom young girls for sexual purposes.
“He was cunning, cruel and deceitful and is a danger to young people.
“Alexander travelled to a park to meet one 13-year-old – but thankfully a friend realised the danger posed by this man, called police and took her home.
“Parents need to be very wary of the risks posed by social media and speak to their children about who they might be communicating with. If you have any concerns, call the police.”
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