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Lab worker sent sex chat to police officer he thought was 13-year-old girl

By Jonny Drury | Telford | News | Published:

A laboratory technician who was snared by a police officer online when he believed he was talking sexually to a 13-year-old girl has avoided jail.

The case was heard at Shrewsbury Crown Court

Benjamin Woodley, 28, told what he thought was a girl called Lizzie that he wanted to kiss her and show her everything during sexual conversations that he initiated.

However after she refused to send him photographs, the conversations ended.

Then months later police arrived at his door and he was arrested.

Woodley, of Anselm Court, Telford, admitted to engaging in sexual communications with a child and was given a two-year community order by Judge Anthony Lowe at Shrewsbury Crown Court.

He said: “You need to make sure you have proper treatment to work this out.

"It is the only way to sort this out, it is something in your character, you need to deal with it and work out what it is.”

App talk

Prosecutor Lisa Hancox said the offences took place between April 23 and 27, when Woodley went on an app designed for people aged 13 to 19.

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He believed he was talking to a 13-year-old girl called Lizzie and he said he was a 16-year-old male, then he said he was 18.

Ms Hancox said Woodley knew she was 13, but continued to engage in contact with her.

They then moved to talk on a messenger app Kik, where she asked if he was okay with her being 13, and he said yes.

They continued talking and he said to her: “If you were here I would take you up stairs, lie you on my bed and start kissing you. I would be gentle and patient.”

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He asked her illicit questions, admitted he was “attracted by her innocence"and told her he would like to "show her everything".

'Stressed'

On August 14 last year he was arrested. He denied the offences in his first interview before going on to admit the offences.

Mark Kelly, for Woodley, said his "stressed" client was full of regret and had been transparent to his family about the offence.

However the judge said: I am against the idea this offence has been committed because of stress, that is deluded.

“Many cases are committed because of offences such as violence, but this is not one of those cases.

“I am afraid people do not contact and make sexual comments to a 13-year-old girl because they are stressed.”

Along with the community order, Judge Lowe handed Woodley 35 rehabilitation days and 50 hours of unpaid work.

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury
@JonnyDrury_Star

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.

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