WHEN a Stratford man was arrested for grooming a teenage girl and getting her to send him images of herself performing sex acts, he blamed one of his brothers.
But a jury at Warwick Crown Court heard that at the time of his contact with the 15-year-old girl Marcus Lamb was on licence after serving a prison sentence for a similar offence.
On that occasion 23 year-old Lamb of Goose Lane, Lower Quinton, had tried to put the blame on another brother before eventually pleading guilty.
And the jury took less than an hour to find him guilty of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, causing a child to watch sexual activity and possessing indecent images.
He was jailed for three-and-a-half years and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
Prosecutor Ben Williams said although the girl lived in a different part of the country, Lamb had met her through relatives – and was well aware of her age.
In the summer of 2013 he called her by phone, and after that they were in regular contact by phone, texts and over the internet, sometimes using webcams as they chatted.
The content of their messages became romantic, talking of feelings of love and a desire to marry and have a child together.
Mr Williams said: “Whether a teenage crush or true love, she believed she was in a genuine, albeit long-distance, relationship.”
“The effect was to provide a context for her to go beyond chat and to exchange sexual images. She took photos and video clips of herself and sent them to him, and he did the same back.”
After the exchanges came to light in November the police went to the address where Lamb was staying at the time and saw him putting a phone into a bag – and when it was later examined a number of deleted text messages were recovered.
Although the phone had been owned by one of his brothers, it was then being used by Lamb whose sim card had been put in it after his brother had given it to him during the summer.
Also recovered from the phone were a total of 94 indecent images of the girl.
Lamb was not interviewed at that stage, and within days he acquired another phone to continue his contact with the girl.
When he was arrested and interviewed in February last year Lamb he denied having any contact with her, claiming it must have been his brother doing it and posing as him.
Mr Williams pointed out Lamb had been released on licence in February 2013, following an 18-month sentence for having sex with a 15-year-old girl and sending explicit texts to a 13-year-old as he tried to persuade her to take part in sex acts.
Even more significantly, before pleading guilty to those offences he had blamed another of his brothers for the messages he exchanged with the younger girl.
Graham Simpson, defending, conceded he had no mitigation in relation to the offences.