A WOKING youth football club chairman was sentenced at Southampton Crown Court on Tuesday for attempting to meet up with who he thought was a 13 year old girl. 

Prosecutor Keely Harvey told the court how Lee Swain, coach and former chairman of Goldsworth Park Rangers FC, was contacted by an undercover officer using the alias ‘Lily’.

‘Lily’ made it clear she was 13 but Swain, 55, said that was okay but they would have to be “careful and secret”. Swain told ‘Lily’ how he wanted to “kiss, touch, and lick her” when they met up, but there was no need for a “full sexual encounter”.

Swain sent a fully clothed picture of himself to ‘Lily’ and asked her to do the same. In messages he told her she was a “pretty girl” and a “sexy girl”. 

Swain convinced ‘Lily’ to download the Keybase app on her phone, a more secure and untraceable application.

On October 25 Swain drove from his home in Willowmead Close, Woking, to Antelope Park in Thornhill, Southampton, with ‘Lily’s’ favourite food and drink in the car. 

But instead of meeting 13 year old Lily, he was arrested by police as part of Operation Jetson. Swain was charged as an adult meeting a girl under 16 following grooming and adult attempting to meet a girl under 16.

Swain pleaded guilty to both charges at Southampton Magistrates’ Court.

The Crown Court heard how Swain told the police he was lonely, lived alone and was bored, and that he knew what he had done had “no defence as it was indefensible”. 

In his interview with police, Swain said he had had previous conversations with girls aged 14 and 16.

In previous attempts to meet with girls, Swain had invited them to take part in lingerie photoshoots. No girl agreed to this. At his home in Woking police found lots of sex toys and sexual outfits all in small sizes.

Rebecca McKnight, Swain’s defence, told the court that Swain welcomes rehabilitation. The defence believes there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation as Swain acknowledges his crimes, confessed to the police and feels remorse for his actions. 

She added how a tumour on Swain’s pituitary gland had affected him sexually, leading to difficulties in both his physical and mental health. His barrister told the court that Swain “wants to take action to prevent this from happening again”.

Judge Peter Henry said: “This is a very serious and extraordinarily unpleasant offence. Mental health issues and being bored are no excuse for this disgraceful behaviour. It was lucky that it was an undercover police officer; if it had been a child, the offence would have been rather more serious. You yourself said when interviewed by the police there was no defence, and it was indefensible what you had done, and that is an understatement.”

He added: "You weren’t suggesting penetrative sex, but nevertheless, what you did was indefensible."

The judge said the fact that Swain "bought drinks and sweets to please 'Lily' on arrival", and that Swain had convinced her to use "a communication medium that could not be traced" were all aggravating factors.

The judge took into account Swain’s lack of previous convictions, that this offence was an attempt only and that no child was involved. His previous good character and his pleading guilty at the first opportunity was also taken into account as Swain was handed a ten-month suspended sentence over two years.

Judge Henry added Swain was to face punishment and rehabilitation in the community, slapping Swain with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years, 180 hours of unpaid work, a £450 fine to be paid to the court in 28 days, along with a victim surcharge, to attend a Rising Programme in the next 35 days and to take part in a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement in 30 days.

A suspended sentence means that Swain will not go to prison provided he commits no further offences and complies with the imposed requirements set by Judge Henry. If Swain breaks any of the requirements within the two years set by the court, he will go to prison for ten months – with his time already spent in custody taken into account.

Swain has since been blacklisted by the FA.

Surrey FA declined to comment when contacted by the News & Mail. Goldsworth Park Rangers were also contacted for comment but have not responded.