Galashiels man caught by decoys avoids jail

A 57-year-old man who admitted sending messages of a sexual nature to three people he believed to be 14-year-old girls has avoided a jail sentence at Selkirk Sheriff Court.
Selkirk Sheriff Court.Selkirk Sheriff Court.
Selkirk Sheriff Court.

Robert Griffiths of Gala Park Court, Galashiels, was caught in August 2021 by decoys who shared details of the explicit chats with police.

Among the Facebook Messenger conversations, he asked one girl for a picture of her naked chest; requested details of another's underwear, as well as asking her to search for X-rated films on the internet; and asked to sleep in a third's bed.

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Defence lawyer Ed Hulme revealed his client was a first offender who left school with no qualifications and had health difficulties, having to walk with the aid of a stick.

Sheriff Gareth Jones handed Griffiths a two-year Community Payback Order with supervision and conduct requirements.

It means he is banned from accessing the internet without prior approval from a social worker, and his electronic devices can be inspected at any time by police.

Griffiths' name was also added to the Sex Offenders Register for two years.