Preston paedophile who told teen she "might be raped" is convicted after it emerges he was talking to undercover adults

A pervert who believed he was engaging in sexual chat with four underage girls has been ordered to sign the Sex Offender's Register for 10 years.

By Stef Hall
Thursday, 9th September 2021, 3:36 pm

Salman Patel, 21, of Belmont Avenue, Ribbleton, Preston, told someone he believed to be a 14 year old girl she "might be raped" after asking her if she would like to watch him perform a sexual act.

He was arrested after a probe into his online activities in which he spoke to two undercover 'decoy' adults posing as children and two purporting to be children but whose true identities were never discovered.

Preston Crown Court was told at first he refused to provide the PIN code for his phone, causing a delay in the case.

Crown Court

Nicola Carroll, prosecuting, said he was charged with eight offences related to online sexual activities with who he thought were four girls aged between 11 and 14 over a six day period in May 2019 when he was 18.

Two were decoy profiles by operatives for a group called Saving Children's Innocence.

She added: "During that period he engaged in detailed chats at some length."

In the first conversation, with whom he thought was a 13 year old girl, he asked her if she had sent nude pictures, and if she "had a dirty mind".

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When chatting to the same operative, believing it was an 11-year-old, he made lewd remarks, sent pictures of his privates, and told her he wanted to meet if she "ever came to Preston".

He made the remarks about rape to someone purporting to be 14, and sent unsolicited lewd pictures to someone purporting to be 12, saying he would "teach her" things.

Patel admits four counts attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child by prompting her to send naked photographs and sharing indecent images of himself, two of attempting to incite a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, and two of attempting to cause a child to look at an image of sexual activity.

Defending, Sharon Watson said his exchanges were "crude, clumsy and lacking any kind of sophistication" and that he had been a socially isolated young man.

She added: "He actually has a life outside of his bedroom and his computer."

Branding his conduct "utterly reprehensible", Judge Simon Medland QC suspended his 12 month jail term for two years and imposed a curfew and rehabilitation requirement.

He added: "These were charges that show your misuse of social media, including indulging yourself in a six day period in disgusting foul language and sexual imagery, expressing your desires in a most distasteful way in respect of people whom who thought were of an age which you know is far too young.

"Children are children and they are entitled to be children and to be treated as children and to be not treated as sexual objects.

"So these offences are, as a whole, serious...because of society's displeasure at this sort of behaviour and anything that brings people close to committing sexual offences against children."

Patel must pay £500 costs.

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