Peterborough man sent sexual photos to person he thought was 13-year-old girl

Crown court news
Crown court news

A man who sent explicit photos and messages to someone he believed was a 13-year-old girl has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

Martin Hardiman (26) befriended the ‘girl’ on Facebook and began sending her messages on September 6, 2017.

During the following three weeks the content of the messages became increasingly sexualised and included explicit photos of himself.

When he attempted to meet the girl, who was in fact a man from Devon, police were notified and evidence of the online activity provided.

Hardiman, of Brickburn Close, Hampton, Peterborough, admitted attempting to cause or incite a girl aged 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity.

On Thursday (April 11) at Cambridge Crown Court he was detained under sections 37 and 41 of the Mental Health Act.

DC Zoe Slater: “Hardiman sent these sexualised messages and pictures in the genuine belief that he was contacting a 13-year-old girl.

“Thankfully, no children were actually involved in this case, but it is very concerning that his behaviour escalated to attempting to meet the girl.

“Protecting the county’s children is one of our top priorities. We are working hard every day to keep young people safe and bring sex offenders to justice.”