Man jailed for sex offences after sending sexual messages and pornography to 'girl' he arranged to meet at South Yorkshire sandwich shop

A 38-year-old man who sent sexual messages and pornography to someone he believed to be a 12-year-old girl has been jailed, after he arranged to meet her at a South Yorkshire sandwich shop.

By Sarah Marshall
Friday, 26 July, 2019, 14:04
Panayiotis Yiannakou

Panayiotis Yiannakou began sending messages to a decoy account set up by police on June 5 this year, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Nicola Quinney, prosecuting, said: “It was a female child said to be 12-years-old...he became aware of her age within the first few messages exchanged, and he commented on how young she was.”

Yiannakou soon began sending messages of a sexual nature to the decoy account and requested images of her.

“He sent her pictures of himself and said he didn’t like hair on the body, and asked her whether she had ever kissed anyone and if she liked it,” said Ms Quinney.

The prosecutor told the court how Yiannakou continued to send messages to the decoy the following day, when he ‘became more sexual’ and talked about the pair engaging in oral sex together.

In addition to telling the ‘girl’ to search for terms such as ‘69ing’ he also sent her pornography.

Ms Quinney added: “Arrangements were made for them to meet at a branch of Subway in Barnsley. When he attended he was then arrested by the police.”

Yiannakou, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to charges including attempting to communicate sexually with a child; attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity; attempting to cause a child under 13 to look at images of sexual activity and attempting to meet a child after sexual grooming at an earlier hearing.

Addressing Judge Sarah Wright, Katy Rafter, defending, said: “He’d like me to stress to Your Honour that he co-operated with the police, provided the passwords to his electronic devices and allowed police to search his home.”

Ms Rafter said Yiannakou was ‘struggling to come to terms with his behaviour’.

“The author of his pre-sentence report is of the opinion that he expresses genuine remorse for his actions,” said Ms Rafter, adding: “He had a prestigious and well-paid career which he has now destroyed.”

Judge Wright jailed Yiannakou, of Hagley Road, Birmingham for 16 months, placed him on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years, and made him the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for the same period of time.

She told him: “I’m told you want to change and address your offending behaviour, and that you previously had a prestigious career...but these offences are so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence is appropriate.”