A married man asked 'teenage girls' for sex while his wife was on holiday, offering them money and booking a taxi for one of them to travel from Bristol to Pembrokeshire, a court has heard.
Hasan Taskin, 35, formerly of West Street, Fishguard, now of Stratford Road, Milford Haven, contacted the profiles of a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old girl in December last year through a social media site, before moving the conversations onto WhatsApp.
What he didn’t know was that the 'teens' were actually decoy profiles set up by a paedophile hunter group.
Swansea Crown Court heard that Taskin communicated with a decoy named Sophia from December 15 2022 to January 2 this year. She told him that she was 14 and from the Oxford area.
He offered to send her £300 and to arrange a taxi to bring her to Fishguard, and said that he wanted to sleep with her. He added that if she ‘got in trouble’ he would marry her.
When the decoy said that she had not had sex before he sent her a link to a pornographic video so that she could ‘watch and learn’.
Taskin told the girl to tell her mother that she was staying with a girlfriend and not to tell her about the messages.
At the same time Taskin set up contact with another account, this time held by a 13-year-old girl named Olivia. Again, unknowingly to Taskin, the account was a decoy account set up by a paedophile hunter group.
During the course of their communication, which started on Christmas Day last year, Taskin told the ‘girl’ that he was 27 and wanted to have sex with her, and that he would use a condom.
He asked her to make a video of herself and send it to him, and offered her a new mobile phone. He offered her £200 and said that he would give her pocket money and whisky.
On January 7 he organised a taxi to travel from Carmarthen to Bristol Coach Station to pick up the child and bring her back to Fishguard, where he said they would ‘eat, talk, drink watch TV and have sex’.
Again he told the decoy to conceal the messages from her mother, and to tell her mother that she was going to a friend’s birthday sleepover.
He told her to turn off the location on her phone and to tell the taxi driver that she was 16 and going to visit her mother.
Taskin paid for the taxi but the girl did not show. The following day members of the paedophile hunter group and police visited Taskin’s workplace and he was arrested.
In police interview he said that he believed the girls were actually adults and blamed Google Translate for translating his messages incorrectly.
Initially Taskin denied two charges of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and one of intentionally arranging or facilitating the doing of an act which involved the offence of sexual activity with a child.
He changed his pleas and admitted one of the sexual communication charges and the facilitating charge last month. The second offence will lie on file.
In his defence it was said that Taskin had no previous convictions or cautions and had said on the morning of his sentencing that he realised that he needed help and recognised the impact his offending had had on his family.
Judge His Honour Christopher Vosper KC drew the court’s attention to a ‘concerning’ pre-sentence report prepared by the probation service which contradicted this.
He added that there had been a ‘significant degree of planning’ involved and also grooming behaviour.
“The absence of an actual victim does not reduce culpability,” he said.
“I conclude that if there had been a 13-year-old girl and she would have returned with the taxi driver, you would have engaged in penetrative sexual behaviour… I take the view that you remain a risk to young girls for the foreseeable future.
“The offences that you have committed, in my judgement, the appropriate punishment can only be achieved by immediate custody.”
Judge Vosper handed down a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence. Taskin will serve half of this in custody, and the rest on licence.
He ordered a 30-year sexual harm prevention order, which includes the monitoring of Taskin’s internet use.
Taskin will have to report to a police station indefinitely, and will be banned from working with children or vulnerable adults.