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Man jailed for grooming girl

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A MAN has been jailed for grooming a young girl online and sending sexual messages to a paedophile hunter who was posing as a child.

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Miguel Angelo Pereira Freitas (25) admitted charges of sending a grossly offensive or indecent message, sexual grooming of a child and a further charge of being drunk and disorderly.

Freitas sent explicit messages to a young girl, who was in fact paedophile hunter Cheyenne O’Connor, and also asked another young girl if she wanted to ‘make love’ to him.

Delivering the court’s sentence, Lieutenant-Bailiff Anthony Olsen said the offending meant Freitas would be deported at the end of his prison sentence of two years and six months.

Crown Advocate Conrad Yates told the court that on 30 October last year Miss O’Connor was posing online as a 13-year-old.

She received a friend request on Facebook from Freitas, who sent her messages asking to see her in a bikini and he said to her: ‘I am going to have sex with you’.

They spoke about meeting and he sent a sexual picture, the court heard. Miss O’Connor passed the messages on to the police, who arrested Freitas.

After being interviewed by police, he tried to add the account Miss O’Connor was using on Facebook again and she also passed this information to the police.

He told officers in a second interview that he no longer used Facebook and sent a lot of friend requests to make friends.

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Advocate Yates explained that in the matter involving the real girl, it was the Crown’s case that Freitas knew her age and that his conduct amounted to grooming.

The court was told he said in messages: ‘I want to take you to bed. Do you want to make love to me?’

The girl told her sister, who contacted Miss O’Connor for advice and they went to the police to report the matter, the court heard.

He was again arrested and told police he was not the only person to blame, adding: ‘I know I did wrong I am regretting it already.’

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The drunk and disorderly matter related to an incident in Lewis Street at 10.15pm on 27 February when police were called to a disturbance.

Freitas was shouting and punched a wall before officers arrested him.

Advocate Yates said Freitas had written a letter of remorse, but he did not understand the repercussions of his actions.

He added that a notice had been served for deportation and his continued presence would be detrimental to the Island, before moving for a two-year prison term.

Advocate Michael Haines, defending, said: ‘He knows the difference between right and wrong and knows his conduct in relation to these offences was wrong.’

He said as it was his client’s first offence he should be given an opportunity to avoid deportation. He added that Freitas had suffered a troubled and traumatic childhood, and recommended the court impose a probation order and community service.

The Jurats in the case were Jane Ronge and Rozanne Thomas.

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