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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Man's explicit messages to teens created 'climate of fear'

A man who created a “climate of fear” by sending two teenagers explicit and threatening messages has walked free from court.

Paul Kitchin, of The Larches, Egremont, sent intimate photos of himself to two young girls, Carlisle Crown Court heard yesterday.

He had targeted the girls, who were both under 14, and befriended them using a Facebook account to maintain his anonymity.

Kitchin sent them a series of messages which “escalated in seriousness” and started to threaten one of the girls to affect the other, the court heard.

Judge Peter Hughes QC told him that his offences were pre-meditated and involved clear planning.

He added: “You created a climate of fear for both young girls.”

Judge Hughes also said the fact the offences had occurred over a long period demonstrated his inability to appreciate the seriousness of what he was doing or to take into account the “inevitable distress” it was causing the girls.

Kim Whittlestone, defending, said Kitchin had been “troubled” by his behaviour and “wishes to address it”.

She added that Kitchin, who had already spent 16 weeks in custody, had been isolated as a child and as an adult, leaving him depressed and out of work.

Judge Hughes took into account a number of psychological factors, including his history of not working, and being at home “isolated from his contemporaries”.

He also recognised that as both Kitchin and the two girls had grown older he had seen the contrast between his life and the lives they were building.

“I strongly suspect that contrast, and comparing your life with theirs’, is an underlying factor of these offences,” Judge Hughes added.

He also told him his actions were “deeply unpleasant and disturbing” for the teens.

Kitchin, 26, previously admitted attempting to cause or incite a child aged 14 to be involved in pornography, harassment, and inciting a 14-year-old child to engage in pornography.

All three offences occurred between October 1, 2012, and November 30, last year.

He was handed a three-year community order with supervision and ordered to complete a sex offenders’ group programme.

Kitchin must also carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, he was made subject to a five-year sexual offences prevention order and was placed on the sexual offences register for five years.

He was banned from working with children and vulnerable adults and from having any contact any girl under 16. He also must not approach or attempt to contact either of the two victims in the case. Judge Hughes warned him that he could face a substantial jail term if he breaches any of the orders.

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