A charity shop volunteer from Stoke Gifford has been handed a 20-week suspended prison sentence after he set up a fake Facebook profile used to harass women and threaten a young girl with rape.
Ashley Bradburn, 24, pleaded guilty to putting a person in fear of violence by sexual harassment. He admitted to three charges of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activities, and sending a malicious communication, local media reported.
The prosecution said Bradburn used the fake profile, under the name of Kane McJames, to sent a friend request to a woman, who declined, because she did not know him.
"He then sent a request for topless pictures. She declined to do so and it became threatening," Mark Hollier, prosecuting, told Bristol Crown Court, according to the Bristol Post.
"He introduced the concept of her daughter, aged 12 at the time, saying if she didn't send pictures her daughter would be in trouble," Hollier continued.
Bradburn explained that he wanted to meet the woman to have sex. He then messaged her child and told her: "You and you mum are in trouble" and "Knock, knock, I'll come for you and your daughter".
Bradburn also used his fake profile to threaten the daughter with rape.
Bradburn contacted the woman from his real profile as well. He ultimately admitted to the woman that both profiles belonged to the same person.
The woman reported the threats to the police.
The prosecution added that Bradburn also approached an 11-year-old girl online, claiming to be about her age and asking for topless photos. He also made a similar request to a 15-year-old girl and asked another one, also aged 15, for pictures of her in the bath.
These advances were also reported to the police.
The defence said Bradburn would have never had the courage to meet these people in person.
"It is a lack of social skills that brought about this offending," Michael Hall, defending, said. "Threats were never, ever going to be carried out. It's a million miles away from what he would do."
Bradburn was described in court as a vulnerable man with a "lack of social skills" and who wanted to become a father.
Hall also added his client was remorseful and had become familiar with rejection in his pursuit to be in a relationship.
Judge Richard Bromilow said: ""Because of your particular personality, isolation and frustration, you have abused the internet and in particular Facebook, in the most troubling of ways.
"You have, through social media, identified randomly perfectly innocent women and young girls. The way in which you chose to communicate with [one woman] is quite extraordinary," he continued.
"Your behaviour became grotesque."
Bradburn was told to sign as a sex offender for seven years.
He was also ordered to carry out unpaid work for 200 hours as well as undergo rehabilitation and abide by an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order, banning him from unsupervised contact with youths or unchecked internet use.
He did not comment as he left the court.