Edinburgh crime: Man who sent vulnerable teenager sexual messages and voice notes escapes jail
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An Edinburgh man who encouraged a vulnerable teenager to send him videos of them performing an intimate sexual act has escaped a jail sentence.
Daryl Munro from Edinburgh made contact with the child when they were just 14 years old and began sending sexual messages and voice notes to them over the internet. Munro, 21, also sent the victim an image of his penis during the indecent online contact that took place over a 12 month period.
Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told Munro had contacted with the child after being placed on the Sex Offenders Register for two years for a previous offence in 2020. Prosecutor Connor Muir told the court the child was born a female but “now identifies as a male” and they live in the south of England.
Mr Muir said police officers attended Munro’s home “on an unannounced visit as part of the accused’s management as a registered sex offender” in January 2022. The fiscal depute said a mobile phone was examined and several sexualised conversations between Munro and the child were discovered.
The phone was seized and Munro later told officers “he knew it was wrong” and he admitted being in contact with the child who had turned 15 during their year long online chats. The victim was traced at their home in England by police and told officers the pair had exchanged “multiple videos and pictures” including Munro sending an image of his penis.
The fiscal said the child had admitted sending Munro a video of them masturbating which had “made them feel uncomfortable” and Munro had talked of moving south and them “moving in together”.
Munro pleaded guilty to intentionally sending written and verbal sexual communication to the child and causing them to participate in sexual activity between January 2021 and January 2022 when he appeared at the Capital’s sheriff court earlier this year.
He returned to the dock for sentencing on Tuesday where solicitor Nicola Haston, defending, said her client suffered from mental health problems and was “very willing to comply” with any community-based disposal.
Sheriff Wendy Sheehan described the online contact with the child as “very serious offences” but stopped short of sentencing Munro to custody. Sheriff Sheehan said she was aware Munro would be “very vulnerable in a custodial setting” despite the social work report stating he was of a “high risk of reoffending”. Sheriff Sheehan added: “You will be very carefully monitored and if you breach this disposal you will come back to me personally.
“Given your age, your mental health and your willingness to engage with what is a very intensive community payback order as a direct alternative to custody I will impose a three year community payback order.”
The sheriff ordered Munro to take part in the CISSO sex offenders rehabilitation programme and banned him from having any contact with children under the age of 18. Munro, of Shandwick Place, Edinburgh, was also placed on a social work supervision order and on the Sex Offenders Register for three years as a direct alternative to custody.