Jobless minicab driver jailed after grooming two schoolgirls on Facebook

A CYBER pervert who groomed two schoolgirls told police his online messaging was “harmless and just my sense of humour”.

David Robinson, 28, was yesterday (Wednesday, May 11) jailed for 16 months for inciting one of the youngsters to engage in sexual activity.

The jobless minicab driver, from Darlington who worked in Middlesbrough, also told detectives he thought the other girl – aged just 12 – looked 17.

There were gasps and tears in the public gallery at Teesside Crown Court where victims’ relatives were sitting.

Judge Peter Armstrong told Robinson: “You know full well that this sort of behaviour is not to be tolerated.

“It seems to me clearly you had an unhealthy and distorted way of thinking.

“You now accept that this was not something which can be treated as anything of a joke. This was serious as far as your victims were concerned.”

One of the girls said in an impact statement how her schooling suffered and she endures nightmares.

Robinson groomed both on Facebook, paying them compliments and making filthy suggestions, said Shaun Dodds, prosecuting.

He planned to meet them – although that never happened – and told a probation worker his intention was to have sex.

Defence barrister, Simon Perkins, said Robinson became bored after losing his job, which may have contributed to his offending.

“Given this is a computer crime, there is no suggestion of any associated child sex offences like indecent images to give the court grounds for thinking that this is an entrenched inappropriate interest in underage girls,” he added.

“There was no masquerading in this offending and there was no actual activity.”

The court heard how Robinson has one previous conviction for burglary when he was 16 – when he broke into a neighbouring family’s home after they went on holiday and stole a 14-year-old’s underwear.

In this case, he groomed the girls between 2013 and 2014 but was caught after a relative of one of them found massages on her iPod, and then pretended to be the youngster.

When Robinson asked what she was doing, she said she was going shopping with her aunt, said Mr Dodds.

The pervert replied: “Make sure you buy something sexy, some red lace underwear. You can get it from Anne Summers.”

Robinson, who admitted two charges of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming and one of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, was also banned from working with under-16s.

Judge Armstrong told him: “Immediate imprisonment must be imposed to deter you and anyone else from thinking it is ok to speak to young girls in this appalling way over Facebook or any other social media.”

Robinson, who moved to Caerphilly, Glamorgan, after his arrest, was also banned from having unsupervised contact with girls under-16.