An Angus pervert who groomed a 15-year-old girl with the intention of getting her to meet him has avoided going to prison.
Christopher Lowson had already been involved in disgusting online contact with the girl and a 13-year-old when he tried to make arrangements for the older teenager to travel to see him with the intention of becoming involved in unlawful sexual activity with her.
The offences happened during what Forfar Sheriff Court had heard was a “bad patch” in the 35-year-old’s marriage and Lowson became involved in online offences with the young girls.
Lowson, of Martin’s Lane, Brechin will have his name added to the Sex Offenders’ Register for the next three years while he completes hundreds of hours of unpaid work and a Community Payback Order with nine specific conditions aimed at preventing him from preying on young people.
He appeared for sentence before Sheriff Jillian Martin-Brown at Forfar having previously admitted three charges.
He admitted sending the 13-year-old an explicit picture between September 1 and October 31 2015, and, between October 2015 and January 2016 coercing the 15-year-old into looking at sexual images, communicating indecently with her via instant messaging and social media platforms and asking her to provide him with images of her body.
He also pled guilty to making arrangements for the 15-year-old to travel to meet him, with the intention of engaging in unlawful sexual activity involving her, or in her presence.
Defence solicitor Ian Flynn said Lowson was in full-time employment and at the time of the offence was “going through what could be described as a bad patch in his marriage”.
“Unfortunately he became involved in this and fully accepts responsibility for it.
“He pled guilty from the outset and he accepts what is coming. The social work department are requesting quite an intensive order for the maximum period of three years, and whatever goes with that.”
Sheriff Martin-Brown told Lowson: “These are serious offences and include a significant element of planning.
“However, the report does suggest there is an alternative to a custodial sentence.”
Lowson will be subject to supervision for three years and must complete 200 hours of unpaid work, reduced by a third in light of his early plea to the offences.
The strict terms of the order include a ban on unsupervised contact with under 16s or other sex offenders and strict controls over owning mobile or computer devices and accessing the internet.
The sheriff told Lowson the CPO was being imposed as a direct alternative to prison.