A Derby man who had just come out as gay and used Grindr and messaging service WhatsApp to ask a 15-year-old boy to send him photographs of himself, has received a two-year community order and a five-year sexual harm prevention order at the city’s crown court.
DerbyshireLive reports that 41-year-old Andrew Webb sent the boy naked pictures of himself carrying out a sex act - not knowing that the underage teenager didn’t exist and that he was actually communicating with a self-styled paedophile hunter.
When police arrested Webb after paedophile hunters had confronted him at his home, they seized electronic equipment on which they found downloaded and viewed child-abuse images of young boys.
Defending Webb, Chris Hallas told the hearing: “It is my submission that at the age of 41 and with no previous convictions, we have a single man who had finally come out.
“There is refreshing honesty and frankness in his pre-sentence report, and he’s not tried to hide from his criminality.
“In fact, he accepts full responsibility for it, and because of that he is quite clearly someone who is suitable, eligible and would benefit from rehabilitation.”
Handing him the two-year community order, Judge Shaun Smith QC said: “When you committed these offences you were in a crisis in your life about your sexuality.
“Unfortunately, you also decided to view indecent images of young men who were around the age of 14.
“There was nothing sophisticated about what you were doing, there was no attempt by you to delete the pictures.
“I don’t think in the circumstances of the case it is appropriate to send you to prison today.”
Webb will be on the sex offender register for five years. He was also handed a six-month curfew and ordered to attend a dedicated sex offender programme and 30 rehabilitation sessions with the probation service.
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