Havant teenager put on Sex Offenders Register for offences against girls he befriended on Facebook

Portsmouth Crown Court
Portsmouth Crown Court
Bob Higgins at an earlier court hearing  Picture Habibur Rahman/Solent News

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A TEENAGER has admitted sexual activity with underage girls he communicated with on Facebook.

Michael Young, 18, was caught out after one of the girls’ mothers found out how old he was and contacted police last year.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard Young had first met two of the victims via social media.

Young, of Battens Way, Havant, pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual activity with a child between 2012 and 2013 when he was aged under 18.

Barry McElduff, prosecuting, said: ‘There is a troubling pattern of behaviour by this defendant of engaging in sexual activity with a series of young girls – girls significantly younger than him and below the age of consent.’

Robert Forrest, defending Young, said the teenager is ‘very immature’ and had been diagnosed with an emotionally unstable personality disorder.

A report found Young does not pose a serious risk of harm to members of the general public.

Mr Forrest said: ‘Mr Young understands that his actions have had an effect of these girls.

‘The effects can never be underestimated.’

He described Young as ‘a very immature person who has a particularly complex array of emotional needs.’

Mr Forrest said: ‘That is perhaps an explanation as to why the offences took place.’

Addressing Young, recorder Nicholas Rowland, sentencing, said: ‘They [the girls] are victims because the nature of these offences means that they were below the age of consent.’

He added: ‘They need protecting from people such as you, hence why these offences exist.’

Mr Rowland said: ‘No blame can be attached or attributed to any of these girls – quite the opposite, they need protecting.’

Young, who has no previous convictions, was given a three-year community order.

He was put under supervision for three years.

Young must take part in the Thames Valley Sex Offender Group Work Programmes for 100 sessions and was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.

Recorder Rowland added: ‘Hopefully you will be rehabilitated, thereby protecting others who cross your path in the future.’