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Man handed supervision order after sending explicit Snapchat photos to underage girls

A MAN who sent sexual images of himself to girls under the age of 16 on photo sharing app Snapchat has been placed under supervision for 18 months.

Robert Groat, of South Lochside, was also ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

The 26 year old previously admitted intentionally causing four girls – then aged between 13 and 15 – to look at a sexual image of himself naked or wearing only underwear, and images of his naked penis and genitalia, on various occasions between 1 July and 16 August 2014.

He also admitted intentionally causing a girl, then aged 16, to look at a sexual image of himself only wearing underwear and with his naked penis exposed on an occasion between 1 and 31 August 2014.

The offences were committed at an address in Bressay or elsewhere and the images were all sent via mobile app Snapchat.

The court previously heard that in once instance a girl contacted Groat to speak about a rowing team he was forming, before he later sent her indecent images.

After receiving images, one of the victims told her father, who happened to bump into the 26 year old outside a shop. Groat initially claimed his Snapchat account had been hacked, but he later admitted the offences and contacted parents of other victims.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client had felt “embarrassment and shame” over the incidents and had suffered “stigma” in the community after committing the offences.

Sheriff Philip Mann said the 26 year old had embarked on a “very serious series of offending” and “took advantage” of girls who were communicating with him for purely innocent purposes.

However, he agreed with Allan’s suggestion that a non-custodial sentence was appropriate for the first-time offender.

Groat will also be subject to Sexual Offences Act notification requirements for the duration of the supervision.