Girls were ‘groomed’ online

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A man who admitted ‘grooming’ underage girls online for sex games will be sentenced next month at Stranraer Sheriff Court.

Fifty-six-year old Archibald Craig, from Bridge Street, Stranraer, who had previously been placed on the sex offenders’ register, gained the girls trust before abusing them through social media.

The accused admitted three charges. Firstly, that on various occasions between April 4, 2013 and July 15, 2014, during video calls, he enticed one underage girl to expose herself, engage in a sex act and made sexual remarks to her.

On the second charge, Craig admitted, between the same dates, he sent sexually explicit texts to an underage girl and made her look at images of a sexual nature and requested that she send him pictures of her in her underwear.

On the third charge Craig admitted that on various occasions between September 23 and 26, 2014, he coerced an underage girl into looking at a sexual image and communicated indecently with her by sending her messages of a sexual nature via a social media network and repeatedly requested she send him images of her naked.

Procurator Fiscal Paula Hamilton told the court that Craig had created an online identity for himself to build up an online relationship with the girls.

After initially contacting them he continued to develop these online relationships with the victims over time.

It was only when Craig asked one of the girls to send naked photos of herself to him that she told Craig, “you can’t do that”.

After he was ‘rumbled’, he told police that he had “been silly”, added Mrs Hamilton.

Sheriff Kenneth Robb requested background reports on the accused before Craig returns to the court to be sentenced on October 18.

Craig was given bail and his name added to the sex offenders’ register again as the court heard he had previous sexual offences convictions.