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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Carlisle man accused of luring girl on Facebook

A teenage girl told how a middle-aged man accused of sexual activity with a child lured her into online chats through the social networking site Facebook.

Related: Carlisle man denies sex assault on girl in quarry

The girl, who gave evidence via video link, said Mark Andrew Klein, 46, of Carlisle, communicated with her under a fake name and had asked her to ensure her online chat history was switched off so there would be no record of their conversation.

“It was weird because people don’t normally ask you to do that,” she said.

Klein, of Charles Street, off Fusehill Street, has denied engaging in sexual activity with a child and has also denied five other charges.

The girl also said he had requested she send pictures of herself on her school break; appear on a web cam when she was in bed and repeatedly asked her to meet up with him.

The court heard she had accepted a friend request from Klein on Facebook.

She said he had sent her a second friend request under an assumed name – Stuart Bowman – which she ignored until Klein told her it was him. The girl and Klein, exchanged emails, text messages and chatted via MSN instant messenger.

Carlisle Crown Court heard that Klein had started contacting the girl on Facebook after he had allegedly touched her on the bottom and tried to kiss her following a chance meeting.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was 15 at the time the offences are alleged to have been committed.

Kim Whittlestone, prosecuting, read through a transcript of one exchange.

In it Klein asked the girl if she would appear on webcam to confirm she was who she said she was.

Klein had asked the girl how it felt when he held her in his arms, referring to an earlier incident in which it is alleged he held her bottom and tried to kiss her.

Replying to his question online, she had said “weird”.

Miss Whittlestone said: “And were you comfortable with that conversation?”

“Not really,” said the girl, adding that his behaviour was “strange”.

Klein is also accused of installing cameras in two houses and filming a teenager under 16 while they were undressed.

Previously, Miss Whittlestone had said that Klein had filmed himself and a partner having intercourse without her consent. She had also claimed that Klein had told her to say to police she had agreed to this.

He has pleaded not guilty to a count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, three charges of voyeurism and one charge of doing an act intending to pervert the course of justice.

The trial continues.

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