Snapchat and WhatsApp used by offender jailed for 20 months

A SEX offender has been jailed for 20 months after breaching the terms of a previous conviction.

Oliver Alexander Joseph Walsh, 24, of Woolford Way, Winklebury appeared at Winchester Crown Court on Thursday last week having pleaded guilty to breaching a sexual harm prevention order.

The court heard that on November 7, 2014, Walsh was sentenced to a community order and sexual harm prevention order after he was convicted for engaging in sexual conversations with a person under the age of 16, grooming and meeting with a minor, possession of indecent images and possession of extreme pornography.

However, on August 23 this year, Walsh breached the order after contacting a 12-year-old girl via the social media channel Snapchat.

The court heard how the girl’s parents kept a close eye on her phone and raised concerns when she began talking to someone with the user name ‘Walshy’.

Prosecuting, James Culverwell, told the court that Walsh had told the girl he was 17-years-old and had “just left school”.

Mr Culverwell said: “The victim said the ‘Walshy’ account had contacted her on Snapchat out of the blue and had sent her a selfie.

“He had asked her to send him selfies as well as nude selfies and pictures of her breasts.”

Mr Culverwell added that the conversation moved to Whatsapp, where the defendant had asked the victim to “delete the conversations”.

The court heard how Walsh said he wanted to “cuddle” and “watch a film” with the girl.

Defending Walsh, Lisa Stewart, said that her client – who appeared via video link – had undergone a physiological assessment for his mental health and regrets his involvement in the conversation and the impact it has had on the victim.

Ms Stewart said: “The content of the conversations demonstrates his immaturity.”

In sentencing Recorder Andrew Barnett said: “There is a concern about the risk that you present, and you continue to overlook that.

“You have lost control of yourself, which is in part what has led to your decision to start up a conversation of this nature.

“You fled the terms of this order and I cannot overlook the fact that you had the intention of talking to a 12-year-old girl.”

Walsh was sentenced to 20 months in jail.