Lowestoft man sent naked photo to paedophile hunter posing as schoolgirl

ipswich crown court

Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A Lowestoft man who sent a naked picture of himself to an online paedophile hunter posing as a 13-year-old schoolgirl has been given a community order.

Matthew Bryant was arrested after the paedophile hunter provided police with copies of two message threads between Bryant and the decoy who purported to be a 13-year-old girl called “Billie”, Ipswich Crown Court heard on Tuesday, November 2.

Hugh Vass, prosecuting, said that after Bryant made contact with a decoy profile of a 19-year-old woman in June last year it was made clear to him in the first two or three messages that she was only 13.

Bryant had given his real age and during WhatsApp exchanges with the decoy he talked about sex and sent her a naked picture of himself.

In one conversation he had talked about getting “Billie” pregnant but never made a specific arrangement  to meet up with her, said Mr Vass.

He said there was no suggestion that Bryant had deliberately sought out contact with a child.

After his arrest Bryant was cooperative with police and said he was ashamed of himself and wouldn’t do anything like it again.

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Bryant, 24, of Roynon Close, Lowestoft, admitted attempted sexual communication with a child and was given a three year community order and ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid work.

He was also given a 50 day rehabilitation activity requirement and a 35 day Horizon programme which will address his offending behaviour.

Bryant was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for five years and ordered to sign the sex offender's register for the same period.

Marc Brown, mitigating, said Bryant, who has no previous convictions, had not attempted to meet the decoy schoolgirl.

He said Bryant had initially thought the person he was contacting was 19 but he accepted that pretty quickly he was told she was only 13.

“Not withstanding being told she was 13, he continued to engage in conversation, not without encouragement from the decoy,” said Mr Brown.

He accepted the offence crossed the custody threshold but urged the court to pass a suspended sentence order.

He said the defendant had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and found it difficult to form relationships with members of the opposite sex.