Leeds man in online sex chat with who he thought was girl, 12, court told

A man engaged in online sexual conversation with who he believed was a 12-year-old girl, a court heard.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 4:45 am

Thomas Essan, 26, set up a profile on a social media site and chatted with a police officer posing as a young girl, Leeds Crown Court was told.

Jeremy Hill-Baker, prosecuting, said Essan, of Burley Wood Crescent, Kirkstall, turned the conversation to sexual matters during the online chat on February 17 2020 and sent a photograph of himself.

Mr Hill-Baker said: "He told her he had a car and asked if she would come and ride in the car.

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Leeds Crown Court
Leeds Crown Court

"He described how he would be sexually aroused if he was around her and said she was hot."

The court heard police went to Essan's workplace on April 15, but he wasn't there.

Mr Hill-Baker said: "He was isolating with his vulnerable, ill girlfriend who was at high risk of Covid."

Police seized Essan's laptop and phone for examination.

Essan later told police he accepted sending sexual messages to a young person but said he had no interest in arranging to meet or having physical contact.

Mr Hill-Baker said: "He said he was in a state of crisis and acute depression."

Essan, who has no previous convictions, admitted attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

Recorder Bryan Cox QC sentenced Essan to a two year community order with 90 days of accredited sexual group work.

He must also do 30 rehabilitation activity days. Recorder Cox imposed a five year sexual harm prevention order.