Marcus Nicholson-North insists that he was only trying to help.
The 27-year-old man first made contact with the 15-year-old boy via Facebook. The teen, whose name has not been released, said he was confused about his sexual orientation. He thought he might be bisexual, but he wasn’t sure, and he wanted someone to talk to about it, the Huddersfield Daily Examiner reports.
At first, Nicholson-North offered the kid some basic advice. Over time, however, the tone of the e-mails became what prosecuting attorney Catherine Silverton called “a tad weird” in a Leeds Crown Court earlier this week.
First, Nicholson-North suggested the boy should try having a romantic relationship with another boy at school. Later, he suggested the kid skip class to meet him at his place, where he said they would have complete privacy to, you know, talk and stuff. Oh, and maybe watch some gay porn together.
The teenager was made uneasy by the suggestion and ignored the messages.
Nicholson-North admitted to “sexual grooming” by attempting to meet the boy he met online. As a result, he’s been ordered to attend a three-year counseling program and register as a sex offender for the next five years.
Judge Christopher Batty decided against imposing an 18-month prison sentence, telling Nicholson-North, “I take the view the public is better protected not by locking you up for a short period but by you addressing your issues.”