Man jailed for grooming girl online

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A man who groomed a 14-year-old girl online has been jailed after being convicted of sexual offences.

Nottingham Crown Court heard how Daniel Meakin, 21, of Scarcliffe Street, Mansfield, targeted the girl via a social media app and made numerous demands and threats to her which resulted in her sending him indecent images of herself.

An investigation was launched after the girl reported it to the police.

When Meakin was arrested on 16 January 2017 he was found to be in possession of eight indecent images of children, aged between eight and 12 years, and cannabis was recovered from his bedroom.

Meakin pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a girl aged 13-15 years to engage in sexual activity between 10 October 2016 and 20 December 2016, attempting to meet a girl under 16 years following sexual grooming, between 10 November 2016 and 15 December 2016, and making indecent photographs of children on 16 January 2017.

Meakin also pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cannabis on 16 January 2017 and admitted breaching a conditional discharge.

He was jailed for four years and nine months and given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order when he appeared for sentencing on 4 April 2017. He will also remain on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Detective Inspector Kevin Broadhead, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “I’d like to praise the bravery of the victim in this case. If she hadn’t come forward to the police then we may not have known the extent of Meakin’s offending.

“We will continue to target those individuals who look to commit offences against, and exploit, our most vulnerable.

“This case highlights the dangers children face in talking to people online that they do not know personally. It is the responsibility of everyone to spot the signs that a child may be vulnerable to sexual exploitation. Children and young people may find it difficult to recognise that they are being exploited.

“There are a number of practical steps you can take to protect children such as making sure you understand the risks associated with your child being online, putting measures in place to minimise these risks, and remaining vigilant around their children’s Internet use in all its forms, including online gaming and mobile phone apps.”

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