Gateshead man posed as a woman with decoy profiles to prey on young girls
A Gateshead man has been caught trying to prey on children while posing as a woman.
David Hart created a fake Facebook profile in the name of Sarah Hart to target youngsters and also used another bogus profile pretending to be the girl’s dad, Carl.
Thankfully, the girls he communicated with, aged between 12 and 14, were also decoy profiles set up by paedophile hunting groups, who ensured his prosecution.
Now loner Hart, 33, of Warwick Court, Gateshead, has been jailed at Newcastle Crown Court after admitting eleven offences.
The first “girl”, Alana, 14, was contacted by Hart, using the fake Sarah Hart profile, and he told her “she” had been raped when she was 13 and was having sex with her dad. Hart then purported to introduce the dad, Carl Hart, to Alana and suggested she join him in bed.
Posing as Carl, he claimed to offer “sex education”, sent a picture of his penis and discussed sex before suggesting they meet in Gateshead. He also asked about her 12-year-old cousin, added her fake account on Facebook and said she was hot, saying she wasn’t too young and they could “make it a game for her”.
He then arranged to meet both girls in Saltwell Park the following day.
A decoy profile of another girl, 12-year-old Jasmine, was also contacted by Hart, posing as Sarah Hart, this time claiming to be a 20-year-old single mother. He suggested Jasmine took a shower with her dad and touched him sexually.
Hart then pretended to be father Carl Hart and said he was going to have sex with her, going into lots of detail. She asked him to stop and his response was to send a picture of his penis.
He also encouraged her to sexually assault her 10-year-old brother and asked about her underwear.
Hart went on to contact another decoy profile, 13-year-old Maddison, discussed taking their clothes off and sent her a picture of his penis.
A vigilante group then attended his home and contacted police and he was arrested but still he persisted in the offending. He got back in touch with Jasmine, posing as Sarah Hart and engaged in sexual chat. He also posed as Sarah Hart’s brother and encouraged Jasmine to involve her ten-year-old brother.
When reminded she was 12, he replied: “Don’t worry it’ll be our little secret”. Police were informed once more and he was arrested.
Hart pleaded guilty to five counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, two of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming and four of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity. He was jailed for 54 months and must sign the sex offenders register indefinitely and be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.
Jamie Adams, defending, said: “He had found himself living in a high rise block of flats and he was very isolated.”
Vicky Atkinson, district crown prosecutor at CPS North East, said: “David Hart was persistent in his attempts to groom his victims, making increasingly lurid suggestions to two girls via Facebook, who he believed to be cousins.
“In addition to highly sexualised conversation with the girls, he also attempted to incite them into sexual activity. However, he was wholly unaware that all of it was recorded and retained by a group trying to protect children online.
“The Crown Prosecution Service has drawn on that evidence to build a robust case against David Hart, who has been left with little alternative but to plead guilty to multiple charges against him.
“I would hope that this case might serve as a cautionary tale for those attempting such activity. Every single word you type could potentially be recorded and used as compelling evidence to support criminal charges against you.”