Convicted West Lothian sex offender groomed '˜decoy' 12-year-old girl

A convicted sex offender who sexually groomed a '˜decoy' he thought was a 12-year-old girl on social media has been caged.

Jordan Yardley, 21, was remanded in custody today after he pleaded guilty to repeatedly sending indecent messages to a child for his sexual gratification.

Procurator Fiscal Jim Robertson said that when the decoy told him she was only 12 he replied that “age was not an issue”.

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He told the “youngster” during chats on Meet4U and WhatsApp that he was aged 20 and even told her his real name was Jordan, and gave her his mobile phone number.

Yardley appeared at Livingston Sheriff Court.

Yardley, of Norman Rise in Livingston, then offered to take her to the woods and teach her how to kiss, Livingston Sheriff Court heard.

He also told her he wanted to see her naked and said he would “teach her about sex” after she turned 13.

He regularly asked the decoy to send him naked pictures of herself but she claimed that her little brother had broken the camera on her mobile phone.

Mr Robertson said: “The accused was keen that the conversations between himself and this profile remained secret and he said he didn’t want anything discussed with her friends or parents.

“On one occasion he asked her: ‘Have you told any of your friends about me?’ and she replied: ‘No because you said it was a secret.’”

Mr Robertson said the accused had told her not to tell her mum about conversations they had about him being her boyfriend, kissing and hugging him and being naked with him.

He revealed that Yardley had been snared by a group called Wolf Pack Hunters UK, which targets people who used social media to try to communicate with children under 16.

He said: “They appear to be a well-organised group with people playing roles such as decoys and administrative personnel.

“An image of a child around the age of the decoy is provided by a member of the public who has already reached the age of 18 and has granted permission for their image to be used.

“In this case a lady in her capacity as a decoy used a profile she created of a 12-year-old girl on the chat application which states that its users must be 18 or over.

“But when she was contacted by anyone she was 12 as soon as there was communication.”

A court heard the 21-year-old paedophile was serving a community sentence for downloading indecent images – including hardcore pictures of bestiality (sex with animals) – when he committed the new offence.

He was also still on the sex offenders’ register as a result of the June 2016 conviction when he repeatedly contacted the person he thought was a schoolgirl called “Amy” between 23 February and 3 March this year.

Yardley’s not guilty plea to attempting to meet a person aged under 16 in Livingston on 3 March with the intention of engaging in unlawful sexual behaviour was accepted by the prosecution.

Defence lawyer Andy Aitken admitted there was a “significant element of public interest and public protection” in the case but suggested that the risk Yardley posed could be better judged while he was still at liberty.

Sheriff Martin Edington disagreed and revoked Yardley’s bail.

He told the accused: “This is a serious charge, but the most serious aspect and the biggest aggravating factor is your previous conviction and the fact you were already under supervision and subject to the requirements of the (Sexual Offences) Act.

He added Yardley’s name to the sex offenders’ register for the second time and remanded him in custody until 24 December for background reports and an expert assessment of the risk he poses to members of the public.

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