A LLANDYSUL man has been handed a suspended prison sentence for attempting to communicate with a teenage girl.
Gareth Pilcher, 26, of Heol Llyn y Fran, appeared at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on Wednesday, January 16 where he was sentenced.
Pilcher had pleaded guilty to a count of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child under the age of 16, possession of an indecent image of a child, possession of extreme pornographic images and possession of prohibited images of children at Cardiff magistrates Court on November 30.
Meirion Davies, prosecuting, told the court that between August 23 and 25, 2021, Pilcher had been communicating online through the Kik messenger app with a girl who he believed to be 13 years old.
During the conversation he told the girl, who was a decoy using the name ‘Molly,’ what he would like to do with her, including oral and vaginal sex, despite knowing the alleged age of the girl to be under 16.
He also told her that he would have the means to meet up with her and sent a number of pictures of himself, including one of his ‘erect penis.’
Police went to his home – which was in Penarth at the time – and arrested him. He admitted the offence to officers who searched his home.
They seized a Samsung mobile phone where they found one category A image of child abuse, two extreme pornographic images which Recorder Paul Hopkins KC described as ‘bestiality,’ and four computer generated prohibited images of children – one moving image and three still.
Carl Williams, defending, said his client had no previous convictions and expressed no sexual interest in children, citing the offences happened during lockdown as unable to meet up with friends and had turned to drink for mental health issues but he had signed up to courses and was working.
Recorder Hopkins handed him six months in prison, suspended for 18 months and told him “Don’t waste this chance.”
Pilcher will have to sign the sex offenders register for five years and is subject to a three-year sexual harm prevention order, 150 hours unpaid work and rehabilitation activity requirements. He also had to pay £420 costs and £156 surcharge.