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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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'Depraved' Cumbrian man groomed girl, 13, to become prostitute

A man who bombarded a 13-year-old girl with sexually explicit messages before getting her to send him pornographic pictures of herself has been jailed for six years.

John Graham photo
John Graham, of Maryport: Jailed for six years after he admitted one charge of sexual grooming, 11 of possessing pronographic pictures and one of possessing extreme pronography

John Leslie Graham, 54, of Edinburgh Road, Maryport, groomed the girl for several months by text message and social media, telling her to keep it a secret so nobody would find out.

He told her which parts of her body he wanted her to photograph for him, sent her sexually explicit pictures of himself, recommended pornographic videos she should watch and told her he wanted to spend all day having sex with her in her bed.

And, Carlisle Crown Court heard, he even told her he knew “lots of people” who would like to have sex with her and suggested she could become a prostitute, with him operating as her pimp.

After viewing the photographs and hearing details of what he described as Graham’s “truly depraved and shocking” behaviour, Cumbria’s top judge, Paul Batty QC, told him: “In the most graphic and vile way you set out in lurid detail the way you intended that child to be debauched.”

The judge said he had no doubt that Graham would have gone on to have sex with the girl if he had had the chance.

Prosecuting counsel Tim Evans said Graham was caught because welfare officials visited the girl’s home after she was reported to be having problems at school.

They were met by her father, who had just found a series of Graham’s sexually explicit text messages on her mobile.

Mr Evans said that when Graham heard the police were looking for him he sent a text message to his wife saying: “Put it this way – I will be in jail. You will divorce me. But I love you and can’t help what I do.”

The court heard that police then discovered Graham had been sending the girl sexual messages on her mobile and on Facebook and the Whatsapp message-exchanging site.

He offered her money, promised to buy her a new mobile and told her not to tell anyone. And then he started asking her to take “sexy pictures” of herself.

“He was directing her in a deeply unpleasant manner as to what should be photographed,” Mr Evans said. “And he described in no small detail the manner in which he would have sex with her.”

Mr Evans said Graham even told the girl she could make up to £100 a time as a prostitute - with him taking 50 per cent as her pimp.

The court heard that Graham told police he had not intended actually to do anything sexual with the girl.

But, Mr Evans said, the prosecution “do not for one moment accept that”.

Graham admitted one charge of sexual grooming, 11 of possessing pornographic pictures - several of which were the photos the girl had taken of herself on his direction - and one of possessing extreme pornography.

Defence counsel Kim Whittlestone told the court: "He wishes to get to the root of his offending so that he does not commit any further offences of this sort."

She added that Graham was right when he said his marriage would be over.

In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Batty ordered Graham to register for life as a sex offender and imposed a sexual offences prevention order banning him from being alone with children, owning any form of computer and using social networking sites.

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