How undercover cops caught sex offender grooming ‘schoolboy with autism’
A convicted sex offender who groomed a ’13-year-old autism sufferer’ on Facebook has been jailed.
Over six weeks Brian Lowe, 52 and from Gillot Road, Edgbaston, sent sexually explicit messages to the boy – who in fact was an undercover police officer.
He has now been sentenced to two years and 10 months after admitting breaching a sexual prevention order, attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and attempting to incite a boy to engage in sexual activity,
Birmingham Crown Court heard Two officers working undercover set up two fake profiles on Facebook, one for an adult and the other a child.
Lowe initially ‘met’ the adult before then having contact with the child, called Simon.
During their conversations, instigated by the defendant, Simon told Lowe his age, that he was attending school and had autism.
Lowe told the boy to be careful, how to make their conversations secret and sent him a picture of himself in his cycling shorts.
He made reference to taking him into woods and “loosely” suggested that he should meet him.
The defendant also mentioned areas common to them including the Smethwick canal and Sandwell Park and told him to look at a gay porn website.
Miss Sharon Bahia, prosecuting, said Lowe was made subject to sexual harm prevention order in 2009 after being convicted of six charges of possessing indecent images.
However he breached the order over a 10 year period by having contact with a single mother who had a son and by using a camera.
In passing sentence Judge Richard Bond said “Having hard of the circumstances of all your offending I am under no doubt that that you are a highly manipulative man.”
He said that the woman he met had been “kept in the dark” about his previous offending and that there were “serious and persistent breaches on numerous occasions over a number of years.”
And referring to the Facebook offences he said “You believed you were having discussions with a 13-year-old boy with autism.
“You targeted a particularly vulnerable child. Looking at the flow of text messages going backwards and forwards on Facebook it is quite plain you were grooming Simon from the beginning.”