Lonely Hartlepool man had ‘vile and disgusting’ internet chats with underage victims

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A lonely man took to the internet to have ‘vile and disgusting’ sexual conversations with children.

Craig Scott, 36, posed as a younger man on chat sites, telling one of his 14-year-old victims he would love to have sex with her, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Matthew Bean said police raided Scott’s home in Hartlepool and seized two laptops.

“They were examined,” added Mr Bean. “Two indecent images of children were found, one at the most serious category A. There were also chat logs, showing a number of discussions Scott had with children.

“After establishing the age of the other party, he would turn the conversation into one of a sexual nature.

“It is right to say the prosecution cannot prove the age of the victims, but neither is there any evidence they were lying about their age.”

Scott, of Fleet House, Admiral Way, Hartlepool, admitted four charges of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity, and one charge of making indecent images of children, all between August and October 2010.

Christine Egerton, mitigating, said: “They happened at a time when Mr Scott had recently split from his wife.

“He became depressed and socially isolated, taking to the internet to talk to anyone, not just children.

“There is no suggestion he carried out any of the suggestions he made to the young people.”

Judge Tony Briggs sentenced Scott to a community order of three years, with a condition he takes part in a sex offender treatment programme. He told him:“The content of the conversations was vile and disgusting.”

Scott was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order of five years, limiting his access to children and the internet.

He must register as sex offender for five years.