Thursday, 14th March 2013
JUDGE FREES FACEBOOK PREDATOR AFTER TRYING TO GROOM 11 YEAR OLD GIRL – Facebook is for many an innocent pastime; allowing friends to connect with one another and keep up with their daily lives. For many Facebook has become an invaluable tool and is even able to reconnect old friendships that have been lost for many years.
Like anything connected with the Internet Facebook has its dark side, including the vile behaviour of ‘trolls’ who seek pleasure from tormenting others and then there is the side that most parent fear – child grooming.
For one mother this realization came in full view after Matthew Jenart, 28, tried to groom her 11 year old daughter but little did he know he wasn’t chatting with the daughter but the mother who set about snaring him.
In what is a most disturbing set of online chats Matthew tried to convince his victim that he was only 15 years of age and asked whether she would like to have some ‘naughty fun’ which quickly turned to ‘naked fun’.
The mother, posing as her 11 year old daughter told Matthew Jenart that she was only 11 years old and that he looked much older than 15 as he suggested and went on to point out that his suggestions were wrong.
After the exchange of lewd and highly suggestive messages, which were targeted for her 11 year old daughter the mother, notified the police and Matthew Jenart was arrest for the intention of soliciting a minor, a charge that could have landed him in prison for the next 14 years.
The mother was astonished to learn that despite his actions Jenart was freed by the Crown Court after the Recorder, Robert Adams, stated that ‘he could not be sure of Jenart’s intentions.’
In response to the allegations Matthew Jenart told the court that he would not have taken matters further and it had just been a joke.
It has been reported that Matthew Jenart is now back living in his home that is only a few miles from where the mother and daughter live and that his Facebook account is still active.
“It’s very disappointing that he didn’t go to prison. I was hoping he would be behind bars where he can’t be a danger to any other young girls.” Mother
There has been numerous debates over children and their use of the internet, with many family groups and organizations calling for a ban of online pornography that is so readily available, even to minors.
Moves are being made that will hopefully enforce Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) to block all pornography access and only allow it if the account holder applies for the block to be lifted. This measure, it is hoped, will significantly reduce the chances of our children being exposed to unregulated and regulated online pornography.
In this case it is not about accessing pornography but rather the use of the ‘social networks’ in this case Facebook.
Facebook recently changed its policy to allow younger people to open accounts and the minimum age requirement is now 13 years of age. However completing the online from, to registers, all one has to do to gain access is to lie about their age. Obviously this is not something that Facebook can currently check or even control and therefore it must be the responsibility of the parents.
With this particular case the mothers admitted that she did allow her 11 year old daughter to open an account as she didn’t want her daughter feeling left out of what her friends where already actively engaged in, but she pointed out that this was on the condition that she had full access to her daughters account and would monitor its use.
There are two ways you can look at this:
Firstly the mother was completely wrong for allowing a minor to register for a service that she knew was against Facebook’s policies and term of service.
The mother, knowing the pressures children are under, by their friends, understood that we live in an age of electronic communication and that her daughter should not be excluded. Also she did take responsible action by monitoring her daughters’ account, which resulted in the case above.
Matthew Jenart, while having his freedom and liberty, has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register; however this does not exclude him for appealing to the court that such an act violates his human rights, as was such a case reported recently where the court ordered the removal of the offenders name from the register.
With the ever increasing number of young people registering online for services, such as those that Facebook provide, so will the increase in risk to these minors. It is up to parents to carefully monitor their child’s online use and ensure that what they are viewing and who they are talking too will not cause them harm.