June 2019

Dad with condoms in car snared by paedophile hunters after trying to meet girl, 11

A dad was snared in a ‘paedophile hunter’ sting operation trying to meet an 11-year-old girl with condoms and tissues in his car.

Robert Beresford, 45, thought he was meeting the schoolgirl by Crosby beach but was instead met by an adult man who handed him over to police.

Beresford, who has a teenage daughter, had messaged an account he thought belonged to the girl on the dating app Oasis, and asked her if she would like to “try safe sex.”

He also told the girl he had previously had a 12-year-old girlfriend and they had “fantasic sex.”

Beresford, of Matlock Street, Eccles, was jailed for 16 months, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 20 rehabilitation activity days at Liverpool Crown Court after pleading guilty to attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.

He was spared jail after a judge heard he had no previous convictions, learning difficulties and a series of mental health problems that had seen him sectioned in 2000.

But Judge Brian Cummings, QC, told Beresford: “Those cards have been played, they will never work again. If you come back before the court in the future for any offence of this nature you will almost certainly be going to prison.”

Chris Taylor, prosecuting, had told the court: “This falls under the type of case commonly described as a paedophile hunter case.

“The witness Mr Parry set himself up as one such person on the dating app called Oasis. The app is open to over 18s but he well knew that it was used by people who were younger and by people proactively looking for young people.”

Mr Taylor said Mr Parry used a picture of a friend’s daughter, who was 11 “and looked 11”, and set up a profile using the name Charlotte.

The court heard the profile began to receive messages from an account named ‘Real Woman Seeker 2’.

He said: “Thereafter there was conversation and very early on within that conversation Mr Parry, using his persona, indicated his age as 11-years-old.

“That certainly did not bother the defendant who said ‘I have been out with a 12-year-old girl and we had fantastic sex.”

During the course of further conversations, the court heard Beresford had asked the girl if she would like to try safe sex.

When Mr Parry asked what it was, Beresford replied: “Let’s meet up, I will show you.”

Eventually the parties agreed to meet on July 21 last year, with Beresford stating he would wear a white cap.

When he got to Crosby, he was spotted by Mr Parry by Crosby Leisure Centre, who called the police and handed over the chat-logs.

Mr Taylor said nearby, officers found his vehicle which contained condoms and tissues.

In interview Beresford claimed he would never have had sex with an 11-year-old girl but admitted arranging the meeting, claiming he “did not know” why he had done it.

He said he had never had sex with a 12-year-old and had “made it up.”

In court, however, Beresford pleaded guilty on the basis he had met the girl knowing she was 11 and intending to have sex with her.

The court heard his home was raided and his phones and electronic devices seized, yet no evidence of any other inappropriate conversations with children or indecent images were found.

Judge Cummings ordered Beresford to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years and imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, prohibiting him from unsupervised contact with girls and restricting his internet use.