Matthew Eglinton who sexually exploited 12-year-old girl avoids jail

Mug shot: Matthew Eglinton

A 26-year-old man who started a relationship with a 12-year-old girl online with the intention of sexually exploiting her has avoided jail.

Matthew Eglinton, of no fixed abode but from the Surbiton area, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, after pleading guilty to cause/incite a girl under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity with no penetration. He will also be on the sex offenders register for ten years.

Eglinton met the girl in July 2016 in Surbiton and despite knowing her age began to communicate with her via Facebook, instigating a relationship with her. He then encouraged her to meet him in his back garden and at a local park where they would kiss and cuddle, police said. As their relationship developed, Eglinton started sending her sexually explicit messages.

But the girl’s parents found out the pair were chatting over noticing her leaving the house at night. They confronted Eglinton and ordered him to stop seeing their daughter. She the confided in a member of staff at her school and police were called.

Eglinton from the Surbiton area, was arrested and charged. He pleaded guilty to inciting a girl under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity with no penetration at Kingston Crown Court.

On Friday, he was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for 18 months. He was also made to sign the sex offenders register for ten years.

DC Huw Jones of Twickenham Police said: "Matthew Eglinton deliberately targeted a vulnerable girl for the purposes of his own sexual gratification. If his actions hadn't been discovered there is little doubt that he would have carried on with his efforts to exploit this child."

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