A swimming coach, who was jailed after inadvertently sending sex texts to every number in his phone including those of two underage girls, has been freed from prison.
Craig Evans, 24, had composed the highly explicit messages on his new BlackBerry smartphone for an unnamed person.
But, due to his lack of expertise with the device, he sent the texts via BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) to every person on his contact list, including the two girls and members of his own family.
But today he walked free from the Court of Appeal in London after judges concluded that his ‘misguided use of his BlackBerry’ made it ‘difficult to conclude that he was targeting anyone’.
The girls, aged 13 and 14, received the BBM messages from Evans who worked as a coach at a swimming club, but his counsel, Sharon Bahia, argued that he ought not to have been jailed in the unique circumstances of the case.
Agreeing and allowing the appeal, Lord Justice Elias said: ‘The facts of this case are rather unusual…messages reading “Would you f**k me? Fast or slow? Skin on skin” were sent to every single contact in his phone, including members of his own family.
‘There were a number of mitigating factors in this case. We conclude that, taking into account the mitigating factors, the appropriate sentence was one of nine months’.
‘We have concluded that, given the unusual circumstances, this is a case in which, although the custody threshold was passed, it would be appropriate for the sentence to be suspended,’ concluded the judge, who was sitting with Mr Justice Coulson and Mrs Justice Thirlwall.