A 'CREEPY' Ballymena man (52) who sent sexually explicit messages to a 15-year-old girl on Instagram has had a "colossal fall from grace," the town's Magistrates Court was told on Thursday.
Adrian Robb, formerly of Chichester Park East and now with an address listed as Roguery Road near Toomebridge, has been put on Probation for two years.
He has also been put on the Sex Offenders Register for seven years and made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for five years.
At an earlier court he had admitted a charge of 'sexual communication with a child'.
He pleaded guilty to a charge that between October 1, 2019, and April 22, 2020, 'for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, intentionally communicated' with a girl, 'and the communication was sexual or was intended to encourage' the girl to 'make (whether to you or to another) a communication that was sexual' and the girl was 'under 16 and you did not reasonably believe that she was 16 or over'.
A prosecutor said police received a report from a woman about "unwanted messages, sexual in nature" which her daughter had received from Robb through Instagram.
The prosecutor said Robb had described the teenager as 'looking sexy' and told the girl her 'dark lipstick made her lips stand out and more kissable'.
The court heard the defendant also told the girl it was 'her choice if she wanted to stay a virgin or not'.
The prosecutor said there were also references to 'pubic hair, Brazilian waxing and kissing technique'.
A defence barrister said when arrested the defendant admitted the offence which involved "text communication with a young girl".
The lawyer added: "There can be nothing to excuse this man's behaviour".
He said Robb had "a colossal fall from grace" and the defendant had to leave his home; lost his job and his marriage is over.
The barrister said the defendant had been in a "very low place" at the time of the offending.
The lawyer said the impact on the victim should never be forgotten.
The lawyer said the offending had "massive ramifications" for Robb who has "sought solace" with a church where pastors have been attempting to get him to "rationalise and realise" what he had done.
The barrister said a Probation report indicated Robb was a "low risk" of re-offending and "low risk of harm".
Deputy District Judge Trevor Browne said the case was "very disturbing" for a number of reasons, not least the age of the girl involved, and the defendant "indulged in what can only be described as creepy behaviour over a sustained period of time".
The judge added: "Each time he did it he must have known what he had done before, yet he didn't take the opportunity to reflect on where this was going and the effect on the girl involved.
"It is a warning to anybody who enters the virtual world that really reality is suspended and people seem to think that they can say whatever comes into their heads and there will no consequences. There are consequences, catastrophic ones."
Judge Browne said the defendant's reputation and the fabric of his family and working life have "disintegrated".
He noted that although Robb was "seeking help from his church" professional help was also needed to stop his "proclivity to engage with" teenage girls and to ensure there are no more victims.