DERBY (UK) — A Zimbabwean teenager who targeted under-age girls using Facebook has been given a three-year sentence.
A court heard jobless Ongira Mpofu had sex with a 13-year-old-virgin and tried to get another victim to send him an obscene picture of her over the Internet.
Both of the girls’ mothers raised the alarm after becoming worried about their activities on Facebook in January and February. Police arrested Mpofu (19) of Willesden Avenue, Mackworth.
Derby Crown Court heard that Mpofu, who came to the UK from Zimbabwe in 2006, committed the offences when he was 18. Judge Michael Elsom told Mpofu: “You manipulated them to carry out your sexual fantasies.”
Mpofu admitted two counts of inciting a girl to sexual activity and one of sexual activity with a child. Prosecutor Sarah Slater said the first 13-year-old girl began to add friends to her Facebook account. Mpofu was among them and the pair contacted each other.
“He started to ask if they had met and was sending messages calling her ‘babe’, putting kisses on the messages. He started to ask if she had sexual intercourse. She said she had not as she was under-16. She said she was 14,” Slater told the court.
The girl sent an explicit photograph of herself on January 29 and he replied with messages. The girl’s mother saw the exchanged messages. “She was obviously very shocked by what she read and reported it to the police,” Slater said.
On February 24, another 13-year-old girl was in Internet contact with Mpofu and told her mother he was “a friend”.
The parent became alarmed when she got up the next morning to find the girl had gone out. When she returned, the teenager said she had been to Mpofu’s home and admitted had sex.
Laura Finch, for Mpofu, said he accepted the two girls were “victims” and that he had committed serious offences, but both gave consent to the activities. Mpofu came from Zimbabwe in 2006 and had suffered problems as a child.
“He has distorted sexual thinking. He has a lack of recognition for the consequences and is a young man who does need some assistance,” Finch said.
Investigating officer DI Steve Shaw said: “This case is a stark reminder to young people that Facebook and other online social media sites like this are not a fantasy world. People who say they are on these sites might not turn out to be who you think they are.”