Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Abuser caught in sting claimed internet acts were ‘a bit of fun’

Donald Griffin leaving Perth Sheriff Court.
Donald Griffin leaving Perth Sheriff Court.

A bricklayer who posed as a teenage boy and his mother in a bid to dupe a 14-year-old girl into carrying out sex acts claimed it was “a bit of fun.”

Donald Griffin created dual personas on social media apps to groom the schoolgirl, first by pretending to be a 17-year-old boy called Lee and then posing as the boy’s mother Susan.

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis told Griffin: “His explanation is that it ‘started out as a bit of fun’ at a time when he had ‘had one or two beers.’

“It seems to me to be verging on incomprehensible that someone of your age and background could, in all seriousness, have considered what you engaged in as a bit of fun.

“The repetition of the behaviour tends to blow that particular explanation out of the water.”

He noted Griffin contacted the girl on nine days during a 13-day period.

Griffin’s web of lies

Griffin spun a web of lies – including that the mother he was posing as worked in the child abuse unit with Police Scotland – to hook the girl into believing him.

It was ultimately Griffin who was duped as the 14-year-old girl was actually a front for an adult member of a vigilante paedophile hunter group.

His partner called police when eight members of the vigilante group turned up at their home to confront ‘Lee Griffin’ as she thought it was mistaken identity.

However, when police started to look into the matter, it emerged it was Griffin who had been using his own phone to contact the girl.

Perth Sheriff Court heard how he told police officers: “I don’t know what to say to be honest.”

Griffin, 58, of Kinloch Terrace, Perth, admitted sending sexual communication to a girl he believed to be between 13 and 16 for his sexual gratification between 3 and 16 January 2019.

Fake Facebook account

Fiscal depute Gail Russell told the court that Child Protectors Scotland set up a fake Facebook account for a child and it was quickly targeted by Griffin.

She said: “Within five or ten minutes of making contact he stated that he wished to meet. The following day he asked to see her naked breasts.”

Griffin offered to pay ‘Dani’s’ phone credit so he could speak to her and when phone contact was made it became clear he was an older man.

“She received numerous messages from him. He stated his mother worked in the child porn unit in Perth. He stated his mother had caught him and called him a dirty pervert.”

During the dialogue, his “mother” intervened and asked Dani what age she was. Griffin – posing as the teenage boy – later claimed his mother had grounded him over their communication.

‘He became enraptured’

Solicitor Alan Rogers, defending, said: “Mr Griffin has asked me to publicly apologise for this course of offending. He struggles to explain why he did this.

“He became enraptured with the idea of an illicit conversation. It is no excuse and is not even a very good explanation. It was a relatively short-lived lurch downhill.

“He describes it as total madness on his part. He is old enough and wise enough to know he ought not to have done that.

“It is a struggle to see how someone with a good work record and background can become bewitched by this sort of thing.”

The father-of-two was placed on the sex offenders register and under supervision for three years, and ordered to carry out 250 hours unpaid work.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]