41-year-old caught out by undercover operatives
A man from Weston Super Mare has been jailed after sending explicit content to two people he believed to be children whilst on holiday on the Isle of Man.
Timothy Ian Moulton, formerly of Alfred Street, was caught out by undercover operatives working via Facebook.
At Douglas Courthouse today (5 October) the 41-year-old pleaded guilty to two offences of sending offensive, indecent or menacing messages between 9 and 19 July.
The court heard police had been alerted to Moulton’s behaviour by someone who’d set up a social media account purporting to be a 13-year-old girl.
Unbeknownst to Moulton – who initiated sexual conversation and sent indecent photographs of himself to the account – the individual running the profile was a decoy.
On a second occasion Moulton, who called himself ‘Dr Tim’, sent a message to the account of a 14-year-old girl; he instigated obscene conversation and sent explicit photographs.
This account was being run by someone working for a child online safety team and Moulton was reported to the police again.
Moulton’s advocate told the court his client was of ‘low intelligence’ and had ‘long term difficulties’ adding that, as the people involved were not real children, the harm caused had been limited.
Jailing Moulton for 28 weeks High Bailiff James Brooks told him: “You believed they were young girls. Your intent was to cause far greater harm.
“You know right from wrong,” he added: “I have absolutely no doubt you knew it was wrong.”
High Bailiff Brooks also noted that he was having to deal with Moulton under the Communications Act because new sexual offences legislation is not yet in force on the Island.
This, he said, meant he was ‘left with legislation designed for nuisance phone calls’ which restricted his sentencing powers with the High Bailiff adding: “It seems to me the public is much less well protected than it might be.”