Shop worker asked girl for indecent images in exchange for cigarettes

Paul Colgan communicated indecently with the 13-year-old between April and October 2020.

Shop worker asked girl for indecent images in exchange for cigarettes Mark Scates / SNS Group via SNS Group
Guilty: Paul Colgan was tagged for four months.

A sweet shop employee asked a 13-year-old schoolgirl for indecent images in return for cigarettes.

Paul Colgan communicated indecently with the victim between April and October 2020 in Cambuslang, Glasgow.

The 54-year-old sent kissing emojis, requested naked pictures and told the girl he “fancied” her.

Colgan also sent an indecent picture of himself where he was only identifiable by his Dino’s Sweets and Treats uniform in the background.

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The girl initially refused to send a picture of herself in exchange for cigarettes and was told it would be “our wee secret.”

Colgan pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to sending sexual written communication to the girl intentionally for the purposes of obtaining sexual gratification or of humiliating, distressing or alarming her.

He also admitted to intentionally causing her to view a sexual image and possession of indecent photographs of children.

At Tuesday’s sentencing, Sheriff Gerald Considine tagged Colgan for four months, keeping him indoors between 8pm and 8am.

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He was also put under supervision for two years and placed on the sex offenders register for five years.

The court heard the girl would regularly attend the shop.

In Spring 2020, she went in to buy goods and Colgan asked for her phone number which she handed over.

Colgan texted the girl ten minutes later asking if it was “weird” to have her number and she replied “No.”

Colgan followed the message up with a number of kissing emojis.

He also commented on the shorts she was wearing and asked her for a picture of them with her in them.

The girl found this “weird” and blocked Colgan.

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In summer 2020, the girl asked Colgan to buy her cigarettes but she didn’t have money for him.

He agreed to purchase them but stated he “needed something in return.”

Prosecutor Shona Howie added: “When the girl asked what he meant by this, Colgan replied that he wanted a picture of her with no clothes on.

“She refused to send the picture which caused Colgan to ask why not and stated that it would be ‘our wee secret’.

“Colgan also stated that he ‘fancied’ the girl.”

The girl then received an inappropriate picture of Colgan without his face in the image.

He was identified by the uniform of the shop in the background before the girl blocked Colgan again.

On a later occasion, the girl asked Colgan to buy her cigarettes for a final time.

She stated she did not have money but agreed to send a picture of herself.

Colgan replied that he wanted to “spank” the girl and the pair remained in contact until October 2020.

The girl’s mum then became “concerned” about their contact and found messages on her WhatsApp.

Examples of conversations included Colgan claiming that her shop debt was higher than receiving oral sex from a prostitute in the city centre.

Police were contacted and traced Colgan where he was arrested and his mobile phone seized.

Colgan admitted having “pictures of a sexual nature” of the girl and messaging her.

He told officers that he “knew this was wrong” as she was under 16.

Ms Howie added: “A total of three unique indecent images of children were located on the phone which were accessible to the user.

“The female within these photographs was identified as the girl.”