September 10, 2019 4.13 pm This story is over 55 months old

Grantham grandfather posed as teen online to message ‘girl’

He thought he was speaking to a teenage girl

A grandfather who claimed to be a teenager online made lewd comments after contacting someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Martyn Smith went on a teen chat forum and began messaging an account set up in the name of the young girl.

Mark Achurch, prosecuting, said that the account was controlled by an undercover police officer and the events that followed led to Smith being arrested.

Mr Achurch said: “The account was set up in the fictional name of a 14-year-old girl.

“The account was contacted by someone called Mike who claimed to be 19-years-old and from Leicester. It was this defendant.

“The officer made it clear she was 14 and let the defendant lead the conversation. His messages became increasingly sexualised.”

Mr Achurch said that Smith made comments about the girl’s body shape and size and described her as “sexy”.

Smith went on to explain in explicit detail to the child about a sex act before he suddenly ended the conversation.

He was traced through his IP address and arrested.

Mr Achurch said: “In interview he claimed he thought it was a fantasy site and he was corresponding with an adult.”

Smith, 56, of Troon Close, Grantham, admitted charges of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and attempting to cause a child to engage in sexual activity. The offences took place in January 2018.

He was given an eight month jail sentence suspended for 18 months with a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 30 days. He was also placed on the sex offenders’ register and given a sexual harm prevention order.

Giles Bedloe, in mitigation, said: “In his own words he says it was inexcusable and stupid. He wishes it had not happened. He has expressed his heartfelt and genuine remorse.

“It was fantasy and escapism. He is devastated at the impact this is going to have.”