A MAN travelled hundreds of miles in the hope of having sex with under-age schoolgirls he had befriended on the internet, a court heard.
And when his relationship with another 13-year-old went sour he posted a picture of her half-naked on Facebook in revenge.
Darryl Hartley, 20, of Stackwood Avenue, Barrow, is currently in a psychiatric hospital and, because of his mental state, has already been deemed to be unfit to enter pleas.
And he was too ill to be at Carlisle Crown Court yesterday when he went on trial accused of two offences of planning to meet girls “with the intention of having sexual activity with them” after grooming them on the internet.
He is also accused of three offences of having indecent pictures and one of distributing an indecent image.
Because of his mental condition – described as “a particularly acute form of Asperger syndrome” – the jury is not being asked not to find him guilty or not guilty, but whether they are satisfied beyond doubt that he committed the acts.
Prosecuting counsel Mr Tim Evans told them Hartley had a previous conviction for possessing indecent photographs of children.
“He didn’t have any interest in girls other than those aged under 16,” he said.
He said he had travelled to Glasgow to meet one 13-year-old after engaging in sexual banter and swapping sexual photos with her on Facebook.
Although from her photographs “it was as plain as a pikestaff” she was only 13, Mr Evans said, he hoped to engage in sexual activity with her.
A few weeks later he travelled to Shropshire to meet a 14-year-old as she came out of her school wearing her uniform. She too sent him indecent intimate photographs of herself.
Among the witnesses was a mother from Cheshire, whose 13-year-old daughter was sent a photograph of one of her friends naked from the waist up.
Hartley posted the picture on her daughter’s Facebook page, the court heard, after her friend “blocked” him.
Before that they had lengthy email conversations in which they discussed having sex together.
In one exchange he told her that “secret sex” with a girl of her age was the best sort, because it was illegal.
“It’s a massive thing and we’ll do it together,” he said. The trial continues.
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