Angus teenager trawled social media for underage girls

© DC Thomson
Dundee Sheriff Court.

An Angus teenager who trawled social media to find girls as young as 13 to engage in sex chats – before having sex with one and playing a stripping game with another – has avoided a custodial sentence.

Scott Morland met seven underage girls online, befriending them before bombarding them with pleas for sex in the knowledge they were under 16.

He was only caught when he started messaging one of his 13-year-old victims who was being monitored by social workers who found the messages.

They called police who seized Morland’s phone and found a cache of messages to that girl and six others sent over the course of more than a year.

Morland was given a community payback order and placed on the sex offenders register for three years “as a direct alternative to custody”.

Depute fiscal Trina Sinclair told Dundee Sheriff Court Morland had sex with one 15-year-old girl after “sending her messages three to four times a day”.

She said: “They had a sexual relationship for a few weeks but she then told him she didn’t want to be with him any more due to his continual want for sex.

“The first girl he contacted was 13 and met him on Facebook.

“A number of messages make reference to her age, for example he said ‘I don’t want any pregnant 13-year-olds’.

“She believed he was a creep and they never met up.

“The second girl was 13 and met him where he worked and he asked for her number.

“She refused to go out with him and he then asked for naked pictures and to be friends with benefits.

“He met a girl – aged 13 – and exchanged 1167 SMS messages with her.

“On the evening of November 27 2015 they met and went to his home address.

“They began playing a game where they asked each other questions and if they got it wrong had to remove items of clothing.”

Morland, 19, of Watson Watt Place, Brechin, pled guilty to nine offences committed between January 1 2015 and February 1 2016.

Sheriff Lorna Drummond imposed 270 hours of unpaid work, three years’ supervision, a requirement to take part in sex offender groupwork programmes and conditions around his housing and contact with children.

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