March 2010

Sex offender visited internet chatrooms because he was ‘lonely’

A CONVICTED sex offender banned from accessing internet chatrooms went back on Facebookbecause he was lonely, a court heard.

Simon Foster from Britannia Avenue, Dartmouth, pleaded guilty to browsing social networking sites like Facebook and Flirtomatic to try to contact women.

Magistrates in Torquay heard that the 29-year-old was prohibited from visiting online chatrooms by Exeter Crown Court on June 13, 2007, after being found guilty of a serious sexual offence against a girl aged under 13.

Magistrates imposed a 12-month community rehabilitation order with supervision on Foster and fined him £85.

Karen Ball, prosecuting, said Foster used his mobile phone to access Facebook between October last year and January this year.

A woman who was contacted through Facebook by someone using the name Alex Best contacted the police after she realised it was Foster.

When Foster was arrested he told the police that he had been feeling lonely and used the site to contact adult females.

Mrs Ball said: “He told the police that he had split up with his girlfriend in October 2009 and used Flirtomatic to make contact with women who were all adults.”

William Parkhill, mitigating, said the sexual offence prevention order was made against Foster because of the allegation of rape against a 13-year-old girl.

He said the order was put in place to protect children under 13 and it was his first breach of the sort.

He said: “There is no suggestion that children have been contacted by Mr Foster.

“After splitting up with his girlfriend he attempted to reform a circle of friends throughout the chat room.

“He is now back at his parents’ address and is integrating well in the community.

“There is no indication of any further breach. He knows if he breaches the order again he is likely to go to prison.”

October 2007

Child rapist Simon Foster, 26, had his sentence from Judge Rucker doubled after the Court of Appeal ruled it was too short.

Judge Rucker had given Foster, a chef from South Devon, two years for raping his 12-year-old victim whom he had met over the Internet – the Court of Appeal increased the term to four years.

Foster was jailed at Exeter Crown Court in June 2007 by Judge Rucker, after he admitted a series of sexual offences against the child, including two counts of rape.