A FORMER soldier performed a sex act in front of two young Uttoxeter teenagers using an internet webcam, a court has heard.
Iraq War veteran Craig Gore wheedled his way into becoming the victims’ Facebook ‘friend’ by pretending to be a 13- year-old girl.
Using a fake girl’s name Gore chatted to them over the internet before suggesting a video link using their webcams.
Pat Sullivan, prosecuting, told Stafford Crown Court both girls were in their respective homes at the time, but when they switched on their webcams they saw Gore performing a sexual act.
Each of the girls, aged 13 and 14, immediately closed down the connection and told their parents.
But it took police more than a year to track down the culprit through painstaking searches of internet addresses. A search was carried out at Gore’s home on May 25, 2011, when his laptop was seized.
At first, Gore claimed his internet ‘identity’ had been hacked in to, but the investigation revealed he had managed to get into contact with the girls through their Facebook friends.
Mr Sullivan said: “What he did was to become a Facebook ‘friend’ by suggesting that they had mutual friends. None of the girls actually knew him.” The 33-year-old, from Taunton, in Somerset, admitted two charges of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.
He was given a three year community order with supervision, ordered to register as a sex offender for five years and made subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for 10 years.
Anthony Warner, defending, said Gore, a father of three, had served in the Army, seeing colleagues killed and injured.
When he left the Army he took a security job, but left that in 2010.
He said: “It is really not surprising that someone who has endured those experiences would be deeply affected.” He was put in touch with a veterans’ charity, but his behaviour continued to be disturbed and disturbing.
Mr Warner added: “Those things that happened to him while in the Army and working for the security company clearly played a part in what he did.” Judge Patrick Thomas QC told Gore: “You have served your country bravely and well in extraordinarily difficult circumstances and suffered significant personal damage. No court is going to overlook that.”