May we have as much background detail as possible please and what it is that you want to know about this?
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The offence is section 15 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
Meeting a child following sexual grooming.
The person however must be under 16 years of age.
You don’t have to meet, you only have to travel with the intention of meeting or not even travel, but just arrange to meet.
At this stage in time, you haven’t committed an offence if the decoy was a police officer posing as a child.
What the police are doing are using these decoys to trap people and then carrying out the investigations of those people. It works on the basis that people committing this kind of offence will rarely do it on only one occasion.
Provided this is the only incident, and the police will investigate your computer and mobile phone in depth, then you escape prosecution as no-one under 16 is involved.
If convicted, it carries a maximum imprisonment term of 10 years.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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We can still exchange emails. Best wishes. FES.
Under the legislation, the person has to be under 16.
It is not sufficient for someone to be pretending to be under 16 and for you to have met them or arrange to have met them if they are only pretending.
I can’t comment on individual cases around the country, only the statutory provision and in your case, there is no victim.
In my opinion, he would be able to appeal this on the grounds of entrapment
I have asked a colleague to have a look at this for you. It will give you a second opinion.
I have been asked to look at this.
So, in short, the person was or was not under 16?
But this person did tell you he was under 13?
Are you asking if you have a defence?
Sorry if I am missing the point but what is your defence?
Are you trying to argue that you didn't know they were under 16?
Well, you can defend on that basis. Ultimately they have to prove that you knew or believed the person to be under 13. However, I have to give you full and frank information.
If you were told that the person was 13 then th chances the jury would accept you believed them to be over 16 are quite low.
I suppose the advantage of this situation is that you could have a trial without causing distress to a young witness. At least then it would not be aggravated by an unpleasant cross examination.
However, the chances of success are fairly low I'm afraid. Can I clarify anything for you? Jo
Yes, it is inevitable in practice.
Are you asking about sentencing?
Grooming does generally pass the custodial threshold.
You would probably escape in favour of a suspended sentence though largely because they can couple it with community officers addressing sex offending.
There might well be a SOPO and obviously the sex offenders register.