A man who procured an 18-year-old woman to become a prostitute after scouting for potential partners online was described as “socially inept” by his solicitor at court.
Mrs Rosie Scott, defending, told Perth Sheriff Court on Wednesday that her client, John McCash, 21, of Appin Terrace, Perth, felt offering girls money for sex was a “good way” to meet females.
The solicitor said McCash had not “thought his plan through” and had his “head in the sand” after the court had heard details of how the young man targeted teenage girls online but was caught in a ‘sting’ operation.
The court had previously been told that one girl that McCash tried to prey on had been told of his intentions and she and a friend then devised a plan to trap him. He drove a car into Perth city centre one evening only to find a group of women who managed to get a look at his face and who noted his vehicle’s registration.
The court had heard police were contacted and officers arrived at McCash’s parents’ home when they searched mobile phones and computers for evidence of his efforts to solicit girls. However, police also discovered indecent photographs and videos of children.
On Wednesday, Mrs Scott told the court her client was “socially inept” and described how McCash thought his actions were a “good way to meet females.”
“My client was experimenting but this really paints quite a sad picture,” she said.
“His mother knew nothing about this until she read about it in a newspaper and now she wants him out of the house.”
McCash had admitted procuring an 18-year-old to become a prostitute between December 1 and February 28 2015 at his home address.
He also admitted having indecent photographs of children in his possession between May 13 and May 14 2014, and to breaking a bail condition on December 10 last year by having a mobile phone in his possession without notifying police he had the device.
Sentencing McCash, Sheriff William Wood told him his behaviour was “scurrilous.”
“I have no doubt you would be sent to jail if you were aged 21, and not aged 18 at the time of these offences, along with the fact you are a first offender,” he said.
McCash was ordered to carry out 270 hours’ unpaid work, told to participate in the Tay Project for three years, put on supervision by a social worker for three years and also put on the sex offenders’ register for three years.