DEPORTED: Back to New Zealand. Believed to hail from hail from Taranaki.

‘Cookie monster’ jailed for internet grooming

court reporter Sarah Farnsworth

Updated Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:15pm AEDT

A 24-year-old Melbourne man who called himself Cookie Monster as he groomed teenagers for sex over the internet has been jailed for more than four years.

Arran Wratten of Carlton pleaded guilty to 14 charges including sexual penetration of a child under 16, using a carriage service to procure a child under 16 to engage in sexual activity, procuring a minor for the purpose of making child pornography and possession of child pornography.

Under the pseudonym Cookie Monster, Wratten, who was 22 at the time, used chatrooms and an instant messaging service to discuss sexual activities with his victims who were aged between 11 and 14.

He was arrested after the mother of a 13-year-old girl found inappropriate and highly sexual text messages on her daughter’s phone.

Police seized his phone and computer, uncovering 6,000 text messages he had sent to a large number of girls as well as between 500 and 600 images of child pornography on his laptop.

The contents of the computer revealed Wratten had sent explicit photographs of himself to his nine victims and encouraged them to do the same.

In one case he told a 14-year-old girl he wanted to meet and have “vampire sex” with her after they had discussed vampirism and exchanging blood.

The court heard Wratten also had a year-long sexual relationship with a girl he knew was 13.

Judge Wendy Wilmoth told the court he had “exploited” a number of young women and one “particularly vulnerable” girl was so emotionally hurt she had tried to commit suicide.

She said psychologists were divided over whether he was a paedophile or a person who was attracted to adolescents.

“You didn’t believe you were behaving predatorily at the time,” she told Wratten.

The court heard he was immature and sexually precocious when he offended and still did not believe he was solely to blame.

However Judge Wilmoth said due to his age, Wratten had good prospects of rehabilitation.

She sentenced him to serve a minimum two years’ jail. He will be a registered sex offender for life.


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