Computer engineer met girl in Seaton park after grooming her in Instagram community

PUBLISHED: 15:12 04 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:19 05 July 2019

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Archant

A computer engineer groomed a 15-year-old girl in an Instagram community and travelled 107 miles to meet her.

Dominic Nielen-Groen, aged 39, met the girl in an Instagram community which caters for people who fantasise about older men dominating younger women, a court has heard.

He travelled from his home in Wolverhampton in 2018 to meet her at a Elizabeth Park in Seaton, East Devon, where he hugged her and talked for 40 minutes.

Divorced father-of-two Nielen-Groen, of Annan Road, Wolverhampton, denied the charges but was found guilty at Exeter Crown Court on Thursday, July 4.

Recorder Jonathan Barnes adjourned his sentence until next month and ordered a probation report which will assess whether his level of dangerousness.

He told him: "It is almost inevitable there will have to be a substantial prison sentence in this case."

During a four day trial Nielen-Groen claimed the girl had never told him her age and he believed her to be an adult who was engaging in age-play and role-play fantasies.

Nielen-Groen said he travelled to Devon to meet the girl but had no intention of taking part in any sexual activity with her.

They met at Elizabeth Park in Seaton on a Friday evening in August 2018 but she did not report the encounter to police until January this year.

He said he was shocked when she told him her age for the first time in the park in Seaton.

The girl told the jury that she joined the online community because she was lonely and wanted to find new friends online.

At first she found it amazing but soon realised there was a sinister side to some of the other users. Her Instagram account remained online for months before it was removed.

The girl told the jury that she attracted thousands of followers and sold lewd pictures of herself via a Paypal account.

She said: "It grew very quickly and I became part of a community. I knew it was kind of wrong and edgy but I wanted to do it. I wanted to be part of it and for people to talk to me.

"I would take pictures of my body and send them for money. I had about 500 contacts at a time messaging me."

She said parts of the online community were marked as 18+ but she her account was not and she told him she was 15.

She said: "Some were 18+ but many were underage.

"I did block some men. I did sell some pictures. I did not advertise that but I posted my Paypal on my story once. It was not a recurring theme.

"The majority of men who talked to me did want sexual conversations. I talked to over 20 a day on direct message. There were hundreds in all. I told some I was over age but said I was 15 to the majority.

"Every time I put on my phone I had 20 plus messages. I was having lots of different conversations with lots of different men."

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