April 2015

Former postman from Stockton jailed after twice trying to lure girl into his car

paul

A PAEDOPHILE who twice tried to lure a girl into his car and groomed other youngsters on the internet was given an extended sentence for public safety.

Paul Whitfield was assessed for ‘dangerousness’ by experts from the Probation Service, and a judge told the 43-year-old he is a “very grave risk” to children.

Whitfield will serve nine years behind bars and will have a five-year extended licence period where he will be closely monitored after his release.

He was already on the sex offenders’ register and a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) for earlier crimes when he tried to abduct a girl last year.

After he was arrested for trying to grab the ten-year-old, police discovered he had been attempting to arrange a meeting with a 14-year-old online.

It also emerged that the pervert had tried to avoid police monitoring by using false names, and had unsupervised contact with a girl under the age of 16.

Indecent images of children were found on his mobile phone, and he also breached the orders by having devices capable of taking photographs and accessing the internet.

Judge Michael Taylor described him as “devious, determined and manipulative” and told him: “I intent to lock you up for as long as I think I can get way with.”

His barrister, Richard Bennett, said: “On any view, Paul Whitfield poses a risk of serious harm to children. I have to concede that. He does, too.

“It is obvious during the course of his supervision period he was dishonest with his supervising officer, and was devious in the course of that.”

Whitfield, of Fordwell Road, Stockton, was arrested after he tried to entice the girl into his car in nearby Billingham last September, said Nick Adlington, prosecuting.

Earlier that day, he approached a nine-year-old on a cycle path in Stockton, asked if she had been bullied and told her she was beautiful, before she ran off.

A short while later, he parked his Suzuki Swift near The Green in Billingham, and spent an hour watching his intended victim play with friends.

When she was alone, he approached her, told her the police were after her because she had been naughty, and said she could hide in his car, said Mr Adlington.

The youngster fled to find her grandmother, who angrily confronted the former postman, and took down his car registration before he sped off from the scene.

Following his arrest, police discovered that Whitfield had groomed two girls on the internet, encouraging one to swap indecent personal pictures with him.

The court heard that he told probation officials he had no intention of complying with the orders made three years ago for possessing child abuse pictures.

Judge Taylor told him: “You have sat throughout these proceedings showing, in my view, no remorse, or no concern as to what has been going on.

“The pre-sentence report makes extremely disturbing reading . . . you made it plain that you had a continuing interest in young children.”

Whitfield admitted making indecent photographs of children, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and attempting to meet a child after sexual grooming.

He also pleaded guilty to attempted addiction, four charges of breaching the SOPO, and two counts of failing to comply with sex offender notification.

THE mother of the brave ten-year-old who foiled pervert Paul Whitfield has told how the bid to snatch her from the street has blighted her life.

She described the incident – as did the mum of a girl Whitfield tried to lure into his car earlier that day – as “every parent’s worst nightmare”.

THE mum-of-three from Billingham, said: “I’m in constant fear and don’t let my children go out of my sight . . . I want them to have a normal childhood.

“It’s not something you think will ever happen to your child, and when it does, it’s devastating. All sorts of ‘what if’ scenarios run through your mind.

“We could have been at court for something totally different. It’s chilling to think what might have happened, but my daughter knew what to do.

“It’s been drilled into her all of her life that you do not talk to strangers. It’s just a relief that she put into practice what she’s been told.”

The mother of a nine-year-old who Whitfield tried to entice into his car in Stockton hours earlier, wept as her impact statement was read in court.

In it, she said: “Months on, I still remember her running off to play, and I’m haunted by the thought of that being the last time I might have seen her.

“As a mother, I am tortured by the thought of what would have happened if she had not run away from him. It has totally destroyed my trust in people.”

Whitfield sat showing not a flicker of emotion while the mum wept as the statement concluded: “I want him to hear about the pain he has caused.”

A grandmother in the public gallery shouted “rot Whitfield, rot” as the divorced former postman was led away to start his 14-year extended sentence.

She said outside of court: “He won’t change. He just doesn’t care. He was on supervision and he did this. Like the judge said, he has shown no remorse.

“He knows what he wants to do, and that’s it – he’ll do it. A jail sentence won’t stop him, licence won’t stop him doing what he wants to do.”

Her daughter added: “If my mam hadn’t got his registration number, potentially he could have, if not that day, got a child. He’d have carried on until he did.”

March 2015

Already convicted paedophile who tried to snatch schoolgirl off street faces lengthy jail spell

paul

A PAEDOPHILE who tried to snatch a schoolgirl from the street and groomed other youngsters on the internet is facing a lengthy spell behind bars.

Paul Whitfield – pictured here for the first time – will be assessed for ‘dangerousness’ before being sentenced at Teesside Crown Court in a fortnight.

The 43-year-old, of Fordwell Road, Stockton, has confessed to a series of child sex crimes between June and September last year.

Whitfield was already a registered sex offender when he tried to entice a ten-year-old into his car in Billingham, Teesside, The Northern Echo has learned.

Just weeks before the attempted abduction, the predatory pervert was trying to arrange a meeting with a 14-year-old girl who he befriended online.

When arrested after the abduction bid, it emerged Whitfield had committed a string of other crimes – including trying to avoid police monitoring.

Indecent images of children were found on his mobile phone, and he also flouted a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) and sex offender registration requirements.

He twice used a false name – Paul Wilson and Gennwty Guy – when registering, and also had unsupervised contact with a girl under the age of 16.

The other breaches involve him having devices capable of taking photographs and accessing the internet – also in contravention of the order.

Whitfield has appeared in court via a live video-link from Durham Prison in the past, but will be there in person when he is sentenced on March 16.

His barrister, Richard Bennett, said: “Given the nature of the offences, clearly the court will need to examine dangerousness. The defendant knows that.”

Whitfield admitted making indecent photographs of children, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and attempting to meet a child after sexual grooming

At earlier hearings, he pleaded guilty to attempted addiction, four charges of breaching the SOPO, and two counts of failing to comply with notification.

The orders were made three years ago after Whitfield – who describes himself as divorced on his Facebook page – was caught with indecent child photos.

Prosecutor Nick Adlington said Whitfield groomed a second girl online, but she provided “a complete lack of cooperation” and no charges have been brought.

A source said last night: “It is unlikely he’ll be going anywhere for a long time. He’s undoubtedly a danger to children, and it’s good to have him off the streets.”

September 2014

Convicted paedophile in court accused of attempting to abduct 10-year-old girl

A man has appeared in court accused of attempting to abduct a 10-year-old girl.

Paul Whitfield, 43, appeared at Teesside Magistrates’ Court to face charges of attempted abduction, four counts of breaching a sexual offences prevention order and breach of notification requirements.

The incident happened on Sunday and Whitfield, of Fordwell Road, Fairfield, Stockton, was remanded in custody to appear at Teesside Crown Court on Tuesday September 23 at 10am.

In 2012 the then 40-year-old was not prosecuted for contacting girls on the internet, but was dealt with for downloading the child abuse images.

He downloaded 32 pictures of naked girls aged between eight and 13, after searching for websites with headings such as ‘teens’ and ‘kids’

He was given a two-year community order with supervision and was ordered to attend a sex offenders treatment programme by the judge

January 2012

Indecent images found by pathetic, bored man

A MAN who was found with indecent images of children on his computer told police he had looked at websites because he was bored and described himself as pathetic.

Officers raided the Stockton home of single father Paul Whitfield as part of Operation Starlight a Metropolitan Police-led crackdown on internet child abusers last April.

The 40-year-old will not be prosecuted for contacting girls on the internet, but appeared in court yesterday to be dealt with for downloading the child abuse images.

He was given a two-year community order with supervision and was ordered to attend a sex offenders treatment programme by the judge, Julian Goose.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Whitfield was described as a high risk to children in the community in a pre-sentence report by an official from the Probation Service.

He was also put on the sex offenders’ register for five years and was given an indefinite order banning him from using computers to contact girls under 16.

Mr Goose described apparent confessions Whitfield made when he was questioned as ‘troubling’, even though the more serious matters are not being pursued.

Andrew Turton, mitigating, said Whitfield was keen to address his problems and said he would welcome any help to tackle his warped thinking and behaviour.

“It would help to reduce the risk of mischief, Mr Turton,” said.

“He wants to receive whatever intervention may assist in ensuring this type of offence is not repeated.

“He has come to terms with his offending, accepting he has a problem, accepted the offending was sexually motivated and is willing to work with any agency.

“He is ashamed, he described himself as pathetic and he wants to change his outlook and views in relation to this type of offending. That’s a good starting point.”

Whitfield, of Fordwell Road, Stockton, admitted 16 charges of making indecent images of children at an earlier hearing before Teesside Magistrates Court.

The court heard that he had never before been in trouble, and Victoria Lamballe, prosecuting, said Whitfield told police he accessed the internet to alleviate boredom.

He downloaded 32 pictures of naked girls aged between eight and 13, after searching for websites with headings such as ‘teens’ and ‘kids’, the court heard.