A man who persuaded a young Rugby girl to engage in sexual activity in front of a camera while he watched via his computer has been remanded in custody.
And a judge said that was of Ravi Prakash’s ‘own making’ after he failed to co-operate with the preparation of a pre-sentence report.
Prakash had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to six charges of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one of attempting to arrange or facilitate the commission of a child sex offence.
The 28-year-old, of Swansea, also admitted three offences of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child with the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification.
Following an adjournment for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on him, Prakash was not at the court when his case was called on.
So Judge Marten Coates issued a warrant for his arrest – only for Prakash to arrive an hour later. But there was no pre-sentence report because he had failed to turn up for his appointment with the probation service in South Wales – and they could not contact him when they tried to offer him another appointment.
Judge Marten Coates said sentencing guidelines all dealt with cases where there was a meeting, with an indication of a non-custodial sentence for the least serious examples.
“There are no guidelines for where they could not possibly touch each other because they were on Skype,” he pointed out. He told Prakash’s barrister that he was thinking of imposing a three-year community order with a condition of him undertaking a three-year sex offender’s programme – but could not do that without a pre-sentence report.
Explaining Prakash’s failure to co-operate, Richard Ace, defending, said: “He had spoken to probation and said he was ‘not really feeling ready’ to talk about it and asked for a different date. That is not an excuse for his non-attendance.”
Judge Coates responded: “He did not keep his probation service appointment at Newport, and was not available when they tried to give him a second appointment. I don’t like remanding your client in custody. He is 28 and he has no previous convictions, but this is all of his own making.”