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Man who blamed his brother after grooming girl is jailed

Wellesbourne Airfield
Wellesbourne Airfield

And the jury took less than an hour to find him guilty of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, causing a child to watch sexual activity and possessing indecent images.

He was jailed for three-and-a-half-years and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.

Prosecutor Ben Williams said that although the girl lived in a different part of the country, Lamb had met her before — and was well aware of her age.

In the summer of 2013 he called her by phone, and after that they were in regular contact by phone, texts and over the internet, sometimes using webcams as they chatted.

The content of their messages became romantic, talking of feelings of love and a desire to marry and have a child together.

“Whether a teenage crush or true love, she believed she was in a genuine, albeit long-distance, relationship.

“You might think his messages were heartfelt too, or you may think the person who sent them had an ulterior motive, and the talk was regularly sexually explicit.

“The effect was to provide a context for her to go beyond chat and to exchange sexual images. She took photos and video clips of herself and sent them to him, and he did the same back.”

But Mr Williams pointed out: “The issues in the case are not whether they were sexually explicit, but whether it was Marcus Lamb at the other end of the conversations with her.”

After the exchanges came to light in November the police went to the address where Lamb was staying at the time and saw him putting a phone into a bag — and when it was later examined a number of deleted text messages were recovered.

Although the phone had been owned by his brother Ben, it was then being used by Lamb whose sim card had been put in it after Ben had given it to him during the summer.

Also recovered from the phone were a total of 94 indecent images of the girl, including 14 classed as Category B in which she was shown carrying out sexual acts.

Lamb was not interviewed at that stage, and within days he acquired another phone to continue his contact with the girl.

When he was arrested and interviewed in February last year Lamb denied having any contact with her, claiming it must have been Ben doing it and posing as him.

He suggested Ben must have got some old pictures of him from a memory card and sent them to her as part of a pretence —which was strongly denied when it was put to Ben during the trial.

And Mr Williams pointed out that Lamb had been released on licence in February 2013, following an 18-month sentence for having sex with a 15-year-old girl and sending explicit texts to a 13-year-old as he tried to persuade her to take part in sex acts.

Even more significantly, before pleading guilty to those offences he had blamed another of his brothers for the messages he exchanged with the younger girl.

Lamb did not give evidence in his trial, and after being taken ill on the day the jury retired to consider its verdicts he was taken to hospital as a precaution because he had suffered a heart attack when he was just 18.

So he was not at court to hear the jury reject his story and find him guilty — but returned to be sentenced after being discharged from the hospital.

Graham Simpson, defending, conceded: “I can put forward no mitigation in relation to the offences he’s committed.”

He asked for the case to be adjourned for Lamb to attend appointments at both Stratford Hospital and University Hospital in Coventry, but Recorder Abigail Nixon refused, saying Lamb could get any medical assistance he is likely to need in prison.

Jailing Lamb, she told him: “You contacted her very shortly after your release from prison in full knowledge she was under 16. You were over six years her senior.

“You gained her trust and made her think she was in a genuine loving relationship. You did that deliberately for your own ends, and you encouraged her to send explicit pictures of herself to you.

“You had the gall in this trial not only to put your brother through the humiliating experience of having to be cross-examined, but you used the same defence as you used in the past when you were convicted of a very similar offence.

“I know you have medical problems, but I have seen a report and the diagnosis was of acute anxiety and sleep deprivation.

“There are aggravating features in this case including your previous conviction and the fact that you blamed your own brother for what you had done.”

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