Man jailed after posing as lesbian on dating app to groom underage girl

Mark Adams

Mark Adams, a 39-year-old man, has been jailed after he posed as a lesbian on a dating app to groom what he thought was a 13-year-old girl, but was in fact a police officer.

Adams from Workington, Cumbria, created a fake dating app profile and posed as a 21-year-old lesbian, but was caught in a police sting, Carlisle Crown Court heard on Monday (31 January).

According to The Cumberland News, in February 2020, Adams, who used photos of a woman he found online for his profile, began sending sexually explicit messages to the “girl”, having been told early on in the conversation that she was only 13.

Over multiple days, he asked her to send explicit photographs, told her to engage in sexual activity, sent her nude images of himself and discussed her school uniform.

On one occasion he asked her to perform sex acts on herself and to phone him so he could hear her.

Damian Nolan, prosecuting, told the court that Adams had been trying to “drive the conversation from start to finish”.

When the undercover police officer alerted Cumbria Constabulary to Adams’ crimes, they seized his laptop and mobile phone, and he was arrested.

Adams initially tried to deny all charges against him, before finally admitting to four counts of sexual communication with a child, and one of attempting to cause a child to engage in sexual activity.

Anthony Parkinson, representing Adams, said his client had no previous convictions and that he was “humiliated and embarrassed”.

But judge Nicholas Barker sentenced Adams to 27 months in prison for his disturbing crimes, and told him “You set up a profile which presented yourself as a 21-year-old female who was gay and was interested in meeting young girls… Your communications were highly sexualised, highly determined, persistent, demanding and controlling.”

Mark Adams must also sign the sex offenders register for 10 years, as well as abide by a sexual harm prevention order for the same amount of time.