Man who sent WhatsApp messages to 15-year-old girl with sex requests was taken by chance
A man who texted a 15-year-old girl was only discovered by chance.
Police had been tasked with handling an unrelated case in Conwy County, but took the opportunity to seize Mark Joseph Marsh’s cell phone.
When they uploaded information there, they discovered the messages and it was arrested.
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Marsh, now 19, has pleaded guilty to having sexual communications with a child and instigating a child to engage in sexual activity in Conwy County.
A Mold Crown Court judge today sentenced him to six months in a juvenile facility, suspended for 18 months.
Prosecutor Richard Edwards said police arrived on an unrelated case on May 25, but had reason to look at Marsh’s cell phone.
Data from April of the same year showed that there had been sexually explicit WhatsApp messages between Marsh and the teenager, who cannot be named to protect her identity.
In the messages, which lasted more than three days, Marsh asked her to drop a strap on her top and asked her to touch her breasts. He was engaging in a sexual act, the court said.
The prosecutor said Marsh gave an interview without comment, but ultimately admitted the two offenses.
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Defending Dafydd Roberts said Marsh had only had indirect contact with the plaintiff.
He said: “There was no suggestion that an attempt was made to physically meet this girl.”
He was 18 at the time and she was “almost 16”.
And he claimed there was a realistic chance that Marsh, now of Swan Avenue, St Helens, could be rehabilitated.
Suspending the sentence, the judge, Mr. Recorder John Philpotts, told the accused: “You are given an opportunity.”
He also ordered Marsh to do 80 days of rehab activity and 100 hours of unpaid labor.
He also received a Sexual Injury Prevention Order – to prevent him from having unauthorized and unsupervised contact or communication with children under the age of 16 – and enrolled in the Sex Offender Registry, both for seven years.
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