A MAN who denies attempted sexual communications with a child and attempting to meet a child after grooming told a judge that he 'fell for her' and only intended to ‘drop off birthday presents’ at her home.

The alleged communications between Syed Ali and someone he thought and admitted to knowing was a 13-year-old girl turned out to be with a fake profile ran by and undercover police officer.

Ali, formerly of Buttercup Close, Sankey Bridges, now of no fixed abode, appeared before Liverpool Crown Court for a plea hearing.

Defending himself, he pleaded not guilty to one count of attempting to meet a girl under 16 years of age after grooming and another count of attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child.

The particulars of the charges allege that the offences occurred between October 2 and 10, 2023, the court heard.

Details of the first charge allege that on October 20, the defendant attempted to meet a girl under the age of 16 under the guise of the name Cortnee.

This was on Edge Lane in Liverpool, where it is alleged that he intended to ‘do something that breached the Sexual Offences Act 2003’.

The second count alleges that the accused intentionally attempted to communicate over an online messenger with Cortnee in a sexual manner on multiple occasions and intended to encourage her to make sexual communications during a ‘sexualised dialogue’.

Judge Andrew Menary spoke to the accused during the hearing, addressing the charges, saying: “You went to meet her with presents for her – a couple of Juicy Couture tracksuits.

“You believed that you were speaking to a 13-year-old girl.”

Responding to the judge, Ali, representing himself, said: “I felt I was led by the undercover officer.

“I did not arrange a meeting with her. She seemed vulnerable to me. She had had a fight with her family.

“I told her I was 44 and I broke out of 30 years of marriage.”

Judge Menary responded: “You fell in love with her.”

To which Ali replied: “I explained to her that you cannot have a relationship before the age of 18. She said she had been left alone on her birthday.

“I never wanted to peruse anything further. I fell for her. She sent me a link to the presents.”

The defendant explained his plan was to drop the presents off at the address but had no other intentions, adding that he had texted his landlord to tell her what he was doing, but she did not reply.

After entering not guilty pleas, prosecutor Matthew Conway fixed a trial date for February 3 next year.

Ali, who has family back in Pakistan, addressed the judge to ask if he would be able to access his passport to visit his family prior to the trial taking place.

The judge confirmed that the defendant would need to make an application to the court for this before clarifying bail conditions.