A convicted sex offender who asked an eight-year-old boy to send him an indecent photograph was jailed for five years at Lincoln Crown Court today.
Robert Margerum, 30, formerly of Castlegate, Grantham contacted the boy and his nine-year-old brother online claiming to be an 11-year-old.
The court heard how Margerum asked the younger boy to send a photograph of his genitals and got them to play a game of truth or dare – in which he asked one of the boys to take off his top.
Lisa Hardy, prosecuting, said the mother of the boys discovered by chance that they were being contacted by the older man.
Miss Hardy said: “The mother heard the nine-year-old talking on his phone to somebody in his bedroom.
“She stood outside the bedroom and could hear her son saying ‘I don’t want my family to know about you.’
“She then burst into the room and asked who he was speaking to. He tried to switch off the phone.”
After discovering that the boy had been talking with Margerum over FaceTime, the mother called her local police in South Wales.
Lincolnshire Police then visited his flat in Castlegate, Grantham and checked his phone records and internet usage.
When Margerum was interviewed by police, he denied knowing either boy and denied having any contact – an investigation found that he had contacted the boys on a number of occasions in December last year.
The court heard how Margerum was already being monitored by the authorities and was under a sexual offences prevention order after being jailed for sex offences in 2011.
Recorder Gareth Evans QC, passing sentence, said: “It has to be prison. You are a persistent pervert. You are interested in young children and try desperately to get in touch with them.”
Edna Leonard, mitigating for Margerum, said he has mental health difficulties and has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.
She said: “He left home at 18. He has not had much in the way of support.
“He has ended up fairly recently being homeless. He had his flat when these offences occurred but gave that up when he knew he was going to prison.”
For his offences, Margerum was jailed for five years and was given a 15 year sexual harm prevention order.