Lifeguard groomed sisters with false identity

Benjamin Mackay admitted two charges of sending sexual messages to two under-age sisters. Picture: Peter Jolly
Benjamin Mackay admitted two charges of sending sexual messages to two under-age sisters. Picture: Peter Jolly
Share this article
Have your say

A LIFEGUARD at an aquadome groomed two under-age sisters on the internet in a bid to have them take naked pictures of themselves and send them to him.

Using a false Facebook identity, 22-year-old Benjamin Mackay, of Woodlands Close, Westhill, near Inverness, used the name Danny Smith to contact the ten- and 13-year-olds separately.

But he used his actual image on the social media site and the girls recognised him, Inverness Sheriff Court heard yesterday.

Mackay, who worked at the Inverness Leisure Centre where he met the two girls, admitted two offences of sending sexual messages to the girls and asking them for naked pictures of themselves. Fiscal depute Roderick Urquhart said: “When the girls pointed this out, he claimed that he was using a friend’s account as his own was not working, but due to the fact that the profile picture was his, the girls did not believe this explanation.

“Although he contacted them separately, it is clear that the girls were telling each other about the messages they received.”

One conversation with one of the girls included the request: “Fancy doing something for me but keep it a secret between you and me? Xx”

The girl refused, asking him if he knew how old she was? He said 13 and added: “Age is just a number.”

Mackay then asked for a picture of her in her underwear or just a part of her anatomy.

In a 76-minute conversation with the other girl, he made a similar request, saying: “You are good looking and your funny and an amazing person.”

The girl repeatedly refused, finally adding her reason: “Cause ur a paedo!”

Mr Urquhart said she then went to her father and said: “Dad, I need to show you this” and told him about the conversations. He took screenshots of the Facebook conversations which he was able to provide to the police who were called that night.

Mackay told police who interviewed him that he created the fake account so that he could keep it secret from his then girlfriend, adding that he regretted that it happened.

Defence agent Shahid Latif reserved his comments until sentencing.

Sentence was deferred until 9 June for a background report and he was placed on the sex offender’s register.