Swimming coach jailed for accidentally sending sex text to teenage girls is freed on appeal

Craig Evans, 24, accidentally sent a sexually explicit message intended for his girlfriend to all the contacts stored on his BlackBerry, including two girls aged 13 and 14.

The message, sent via BlackBerry Messenger, was an intimate invitation to his girlfriend asking if she would like to have sex with him ‘skin on skin’ and asking whether she would prefer it to be ‘fast or slow’.

Evans was arrested and charged with causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, and sentenced to 18 months in prison at Birmingham Crown Court in July.

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At the Court of Appeal in London this week, Evans’ lawyers argued that his ‘misguided use of his BlackBerry’ made it ‘difficult to conclude that he was targeting anyone’.

Granting the appeal, Lord Justice Elias said: “The facts of this case are rather unusual. Messages were sent to every single contact in his phone, including members of his own family.

The fact that they were repeated shows that he was evidently misguided in the use of his BlackBerry. It is difficult to conclude that he was targeting anyone. There were a number of mitigating factors in this case.”

The judge suspended Evans’ sentence, and reduced it to nine months, freeing Evans.