Man jailed over grooming girl, 14

A man who tried to encourage a 14-year-old schoolgirl to send him naked pictures of herself has been jailed for 15 months.

Tuesday, 20th December 2016, 3:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:10 pm
Bhavesh Solanki

Bhavesh Kumar Solanki, 29, of Links Gate, Fulwood, Preston, appeared before Preston Crown Court.

He admitted attempting to intentionally cause or incite a girl under the age of 16 to engage in sexual activity, and attempting to meet her intending to commit a sexual offence, following grooming.

The offences took place between October 3 and 6 last year, the court heard.

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Solanki stared at the floor as the proceedings took pace, watched by members of his family in the public gallery.

Paul Cummings, prosecuting, said the probe centred around him making friends on Facebook with a person purporting to be a 14-year-old girl.

He later drove to Preston Railway Station, carrying a condom, readying himself for a sexual encounter - but was intercepted by police.

Defending, Ahmed Nadim said: “His culpability lies in the submission that he was not backward at coming forward.

“We can’t presume the person was under the age of the legal threshold, and ask to proceed on the basis it’s a coincidental encounter that can happen on the internet which has been taken by this defendant in a very unfortunate direction.

“Whatever criticism one wants to make, no matter how the conversation was being steered, the law expects someone of his age to show maturity.”

Judge James Adkin ordered him to sign on the sex offenders register for 10 years.