Repeat online groomer caught by police sting

PUBLISHED: 14:25 13 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:25 13 May 2019

Antony Turner. Picture: Devon and Cornwall Police

Antony Turner. Picture: Devon and Cornwall Police


A sex offender was caught by a police sting operation after grooming a young girl online and sent her pornographic videos.

Antony Turner. Picture: Devon and Cornwall PoliceAntony Turner. Picture: Devon and Cornwall Police

Antony Turner thought he was communicating with a 12-year-old girl called Lily but was actually exchanging messages with a team of police officers from the public protection unit.

Turner sent a string of sexual messages and videos and encouraged Lily to send him images of herself.

He was already on the sex offenders register and subject to a sexual harm prevention order (SOPO) after doing exactly the same thing four years earlier.

Turner, aged 24, of no fixed abode and formerly of Exeter Road, Topsham, admitted attempting to cause a child engage in a sexual activity and watch a sexual act, attempted sexual communication with a child, and breach of a SOPO.

Judge David Evans adjourned his sentence at Exeter Crown Court to seek more information about whether sex offender treatment programmes are available in either prison or the community.

He said he was concerned Turner would not be able to complete such a programme during a jail sentence.

He said: "If he is released without treatment, given his tendency to breach protective orders, the risk he poses would be undiluted. That would not be in the public interest, but there may be no alternative."

Rachel Drake, prosecuting, said Turner made contact with a decoy online profile which was set up by police, who posed as a 12-year-old girl named Lily.

Turner sent a series of messages between October 31 last year and his arrest on December 1. He started by asking her if she was horny and went on to encourage her to masturbate herself.

He sent her two pornographic movie when she replied that she did not know what he was talking about. He also offered to 'teach her about boys'.

Turner was not only on the sex offenders register but was also subject to a SOPO imposed when he was jailed for two years and nine months for grooming and trying to meet a real 15-year-old girl who he met online.

Emily Cook, defending, said Turner suffers from autism and has already spent five months in prison since his arrest.

He wants to attend a sex offenders' course and it would be the best way of reducing any future risk.

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