Washington man wrote sickening post about young boys on Reddit

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A man used online social network site Reddit to post a sickening message detailing imagined sexual abuse of school-age boys, a court heard.

Michael Spowart, 37, of Chiltern Close, Lambton, Washington, detailed his ‘love’ of others’ sexual activity with children as young as four in his disturbing and obscene 54 word-long post.

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His message highlighted sexual activity with males aged up to 11 – and how he liked it ‘to start young, the younger the better’, prosecutor Olivia Randell said.

He posted under the username ‘Strange_Ad_9333’ on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, in Washington – and was later charged under the Obscene Publications Act 1959.

The message was sent to a private adult chat group and no abuse of children took place, nor were any obscene images exchanged, it was said.

Before magistrates in South Tyneside, Spowart pleaded guilty to a charge of publishing an obscene article.

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They adjourned the case after being told there were no specific sentencing guidelines around the charge and further investigation of their options was needed.

But they ordered an all-options report – which allows for prison time to be served - into his offence.

Ms Randell said: “In interview, he made full admissions to officers. He apologised and said he knew how bad it was.”

The prosecutor also asked magistrates to impose a criminal behaviour order (CBO) on Spowart.

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Its terms would be for him not to engage in any obscene comments online and not to engage in any chat with comments that could corrupt an audience.

The court heard Spowart has two previous convictions – a shoplifting in 2005 and a drunk and disorderly in 2017.

Alastair Naismith, defending, said legislation meant it was vague as to whether Spowart’s message passed the legal threshold for being classed as obscene.

He accepted it just crossed that boundary but objected to the CBO application, and added: “It’s a written message, it’s not images. It’s a forum with over-18s.

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“There are no indecent images of children, no indecent chats with children and the audience is over-18.

“This is a single message on a board with like-minded adults. Given the circumstances, it certainly doesn’t cross the custodial threshold.”

Magistrates imposed an interim CBO on the terms asked for by the prosecution.

Spowart will be sentenced at the same court on Thursday, May 16.

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