June 2019

Man caught by paedophile hunters posing as girl, 13, after asking to meet in Cleethorpes

Paedophile hunters caught a man who started online sexual chats with a bogus 13-year-old girl.

He sent her a picture of his private parts and asked the non-existent girl to meet him in Cleethorpes, saying he would pay her train ticket, a court heard.

Graham Ward, 63, of Stanage Walk, Grimsby, admitted attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

Craig Lowe, prosecuting, told Grimsby Crown Court that paedophile hunters posed as a young girl on the internet in October 2017.

Ward contacted the imaginary girl online and asked her: “How old are you and where are you from?”

The decoy pretended that the girl was nearly 14 and was from Sheffield.

Ward asked her if she wanted to chat on Facebook and the decoy told him: “Is me being 13 okay with you?”  He replied: “I am okay with that. Just have to be careful.”

The conversation became sexual and he sent her an intimate picture of his private parts and wanted her to send him pictures of her “in her nightwear”.

She refused to send any pictures of herself but Ward asked if they could meet up in Cleethorpes and he would pay the cost of her train ticket.

He tried to have a video chat with the girl but without success.

Ward later told police that the conversations with the girl were “an old man’s fantasy”.

Judge Roger Thomas QC told him: “It’s pathetic, what you did. It’s pathetic and disgusting.

“It seems to have been nipped in the bud.”

Ward was given 30 days’ rehabilitation and a 35-session probation service programme.

He was also given a five-year sexual harm prevention order and must register as a sex offender for five years.