Internet pervert from Hornchurch spared prison

A PERVERT from Hornchurch caught in an online sting operation by a police officer posing as a 14-year-old girl has been spared jail.

James Farina, 32, promised to buy the made-up teenager “sexy underwear” in a series of internet chats.

Farina, from West Malling Way, was caught after arranging a rendezvous with the girl in a park, only to be met by police officers when he arrived.

He attempted to flee in his green Fiat Punto, but was arrested a few streets away.

Farina admitted a series of child sex offences at Southwark Crown Court.

Judge Geoffrey Rivlin decided to give him an extended community order, after reading a probation report suggesting that he would be able to receive better treatment in the community than in custody.

He said he also bore in mind that the Farina was the main carer for his elderly father, who is seriously ill.

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The judge placed Farina under supervision for three years and ordered him to take part in a sex offenders’ treatment programme, imposed a sexual offences prevention order restricting his internet use and contact with children for eight years and placed him on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

He warned Farina that if he was found to be in breach of the orders imposed, he faced being sent to prison.

He said: “Despite the probation report, which describes you as a risk, and a very significant risk, to children, the probation service are satisfied that your difficulties can be managed within the community.

“From their point of view, there is a much better chance of your being freed of behaviour such as this if you are given the treatment that can best be given in a non-custodial setting.

“And so it is that they are arguing, and have argued strongly, I believe, for a sentence that would mean you would not have to go to prison straight away.

“The sentence which I am about to impose must be seen in the main as a compassionate sentence which has regard to the fact that you are the principal carer for your very sick father.”

Prosecuting counsel Usha Shergill said in August this year, Farina made contact in an Internet chat room with an undercover police officer pretending to be a 14-year-old girl named Emily.

Over the next few days, he started sending her sexual messages, asking her to remove her underwear and touch herself while he sent her live webcam footage of himself pleasuring himself.

He asked her when she was going back to school and said that if he ever met her, he would get her “some sexy underwear, stockings and suspenders.’”

He eventually arranged to meet her in Battersea Park in South London, arriving there in his father’s car on September 7.

Miss Shergill said: “He approached the park, however when a detective approached the vehicle, he drove off at speed, and was eventually stopped nearby.”

Police later seized Farina’s computer, and found nine pornographic images of children and a 12 minute long pornographic video of a girl aged around 13.

George Payne, defending Farina, said that at the time of the offences, his client was depressed after the end of a relationship, and was smoking cannabis heavily.

Farina admitted four counts of attempting to engage in sexual activity in the presence of a child, attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity, attempting to incite a child to watch sexual activity, attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming, one count of making indecent images of children and two counts of possessing indecent images of children.