January 2020

Paedophile hunters confronted sick pervert at work on first day of new job

This is the moment a security guard was confronted by paedophile hunters on his first day at a new job which led to him being arrested and jailed for more than five years today (Wednesday).

Duncan Russell believed he was speaking to a young girl online over 13 days but he was really talking to an adult. He told his “victim” that men did not think that much “except about football, sex and women” before asking her for explicit pictures and asking her to perform sex acts, a judge was told.

And after admitting the sexual offences in court he went on the run for seven months before being caught by police.

The married father-of-two, of Bishops Court, Berry Brow , did not realise he was speaking to a decoy in December 2018, which had been set up by an anti-paedophile group calling themselves Innocent Voices, the court heard.

Prosecutor Janette Hayne told the judge: “A profile had been set up by a group calling themselves Innocent Voices posing as a 12-year-old girl. The girl was a decoy being operated by an adult lady.

“The defendant, at that time aged 46 years, requested her as a friend and waved at her on Facebook.

“In the initial conversation, she stated, ‘well, I am 12’. She repeats she is 12 years old. He said ‘can’t tell we are chatting’. When she asked what that was about, he said, ‘go to law, go to jail if I am talking to you’.

“He elaborated, pointing out, ‘you are 12, I am a grown man’. It is perfectly obvious from the chat that the defendant appreciates that what he is doing is talking to a 12-year-old girl.”

The court heard how Russell, now aged 47 years, had told the girl to picture herself nude and send the image to him, after sending her a topless picture of himself.

He asked her to squeeze her breasts as a birthday present to him, the court heard.

Russell had told the fake girl, who said she had aged to 13 years during their chat, that he wanted to teach her about sex. He asked her to touch her breasts and instructed her on how to masturbate, the prosecutor said.

Ms Hayne added: “He told her that most girls her age have had sex, it is okay and he says that he has himself had sex with girls her age.

“Each time they had a conversation the defendant asked the decoy to delete their chat at the end of each day, as he was concerned that he was going to get into trouble.”

On December 8 2018, Russell arrived in Aylesbury, Bucks., for his first shift as a pub bouncer, but he was intercepted outside the public house by members of the paedophile hunting team who confronted him with the chat log between him and the decoy and asked him to explain his actions.

Russell, who had previous convictions but not for sex offences, was arrested by Thames Valley Police and gave a “no comment” interview, Aylesbury Crown Court heard. However, he did claim that he had not in fact had sex with underage girls, contrary to what he had told the decoy.

After admitting at a plea and trial preparation hearing three offences: attempting to engage in sexual contact with a child, attempting to incite a girl to engage in a sexual act with penetration and attempting to incite a girl to engage in a sexual act with penetration, Russell went on the run for seven months until he was arrested on a warrant by police.

Defending red-faced Russell, who massaged his temples as he appeared in court via video link from HMP Bullingdon to be sentenced, Neil Jarvis told how the defendant was a father of two young children, aged six and three years.

Mr Jarvis said: “He is a man from the northern part of the country where he was living with his wife. The dissolution of that relationship seems to have sparked the offending that we now have to deal with today.

“It is of some pain to Mr Russell that he found himself in that situation. He still struggles to come to terms with exactly what happened and how he found himself in that situation. He blames his wife and cannot quite blame himself.

“He would like to see a psychologist to try to find out why it all happened. He would like to be relocated away from the area in which he lived. He has begun bit-by-bit to try to piece his together his life.”

Sentencing Russell, Judge Francis Sheridan said he would impose a Sexual Harm Prevention Order to run indefinitely, which would prohibit the defendant from being in contact with any children, except for his own natural children who he could have contact with as approved by a court exercising family jurisdiction.

Judge Sheridan told the defendant: “What you were trying to do was to chat with a youngster who you were led to believe was 12 years old and you knew at age 46, that she was a child and you used Facebook to make the contact. You have a photograph and instructed her that ‘you cannot tell we are chatting’, because you feared that if she did, you would go to jail.

“You made it clear in the softening-up process that men – you are speaking for yourself here of course – ‘only think about football sex and women’.

“You wanted the conversation deleted so that you could get away with it scot-free. You are a troubling man and you pose a real risk to children in the future and it is for those reasons that I am afraid I am passing the sentence that I am.

Judge Sheridan jailed Russell for five years and three months, giving him additional time for going on the run as well as ordering him to be on the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely.

Speaking after the sentencing, a spokesman for Innocent Voices said: “We are really pleased that Russell has got a sentence and will be on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

“On December 8 2018, Duncan Russell was due to start a new security position as a bouncer in a pub in Aylesbury. We met him outside his work before he could start.

“We spoke to him for over an hour about his online activity where he had been talking to who he believed was a 12-year-old child, who over the time turned 13.

“He sent her sexual photos of himself, wanted her to touch herself in school, begged her to send him indecent images of herself and attempted to entice her to masturbate. He told her he wanted to have sex with her.

“Whilst speaking to him, he tried to destroy his phone, which he failed to do. He then failed to appear at a court hearing and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He evaded arrest for nearly a year and in that time and up until he was caught he continued to work as a security guard for events and festivals all over the UK.

“It is outrageous that he was allowed to do that seeing as he had an enhanced DSB and SIA badge. This is a prime example that highlights that if a person is on bail or under investigation for child sex offences, that is should be documented on the DSB system and on their SIA licence.”