Loner who tried to have online sex chat with two underage girls exposed by paedophile hunters

A loner who tried to have online sex chat with two underage girls was exposed by paedophile hunters and is now behind bars.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 3:23 pm
Alan Mennie.

Alan Mennie thought he was talking to youngsters aged 11 and 13 over the internet but had been duped by Secret Whispers, an organisation behind fake profiles that are set up to snare paedophiles.

Prosecutor Andrew Espley told Newcastle Crown Court: "This defendant engaged in sexual conversations with two separate people online, pretending to be children.

"Penetrative sexual activity was discussed and it emerged that those were fake profiles, set up by Secret Whispers."

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Newcastle Crown Court heard the first conversation took place between October 2018 and April 2019.

Mr Espley said Mennie "made it clear he wasn't concerned she was 13" and asked if she had been with an older man.

Mennie invited the child to his home and engaged in graphic sexual conversation.

The second chat was between March and April 2019 and Mennie believed the girl was just 11.

Mr Espley said: "Full sexual intercourse was discussed."

The court heard Mennie tried to persuade both child profiles to perform sex acts on themselves.

Mennie, 42, of Tharsis Road, Hebburn, admitted two charges of attempting to incite a child to engage in penetrative sexual activity.

Judge Robert Spragg sentenced him to four years and one month behind bars.

Mennie must abide by a sexual harm prevention order and sign the sex offenders register for life.

Judge Spragg said Mennie has never lived with a partner or lived apart from his mother, who is now in her 80s.

Nicholas Lane, defending, said: "He very much regrets the way he behaved and recognises the seriousness of his offending."

Mr Lane said Mennie became withdrawn after the sudden death of his father when he was younger.

The court heard Mennie was employed for a few years after leaving school but was then unable to work due to anxiety and depression, which he receivedcounselling for.