Tayside and Central Scotland

Snapchat predator who targeted teenage girls jailed

High Court in Edinburgh
Image caption Darren Edwards was placed on the sex offenders register at the High Court in Edinburgh

A Dundee man who had underage sex with four teenagers before raping one of them has been jailed for 10 years.

A court heard Darren Edwards targeted the girls on messaging app Snapchat and sent them indecent images and messages.

Edwards denied 17 offences, including four charges of having sex with girls under 16, a charge of rape, and charges of sending sexual material via Snapchat.

The 21-year-old was convicted following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

The offences took place between February 2013 and February 2018.

Edwards told the court that he had sex with a 14-year-old girl in 2016 with her consent after having "general conversation" with her on Snapchat.

He said he knew her age and told the court: "I wasn't aware it was wrong. I knew it was frowned upon.

"She was fine with it. She told me she had sex before."

Sexualised messages

He went on to have sex with another 14-year-old girl in April 2016.

Edwards also had sex with another girl who was aged 14 and 15 at a wooded area in the city and sent her explicit pictures and sexualised messages via the app.

The court heard that he raped the girl after carrying an unwanted sex act out on her in 2017.

He also sent indecent images to a 15-year-old girl in January and February last year and had sex with her in Dundee's Caird Park.

Defence counsel Jonathan Crowe said Edwards had learnt "a salutary lesson" from his experience in court.

Judge Lord Armstrong said a background report prepared on Edwards revealed that he continued to deny his guilt.

The judge said: "I am satisfied that in your case there is no appropriate alternative to a custodial sentence."

Edwards was also placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

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