December 2009

Police sting catches online pervert

A paedophile who tried to groom a 13-year-old for sex on the internet has been jailed.

Andrew Beastall, 31, asked 13-year-old “Becky” if he could be “the first to do it with her” in a series of online conversations.

Beastall, of South Avenue, Rainworth, also filmed himself doing sex acts on his webcam and asked if she would invite him over.

But Becky was actually an undercover police officer working for the paedophile unit – and this was the second time Beastall had been investigated for trying to groom a 13-year-old.

At a hearing at Southwark Crown Court, Beastall was jailed for two years for three charges of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and another of attempting to engage in sexual activity in the presence of a child between May and November, 2008.

He had admitted the charges at an earlier hearing.

Recorder of Westminster, Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC, said: “You made it very plain that you were interested in teaching this child a variety of sex acts, your belief being that she was untutored in them.

“In 2007, you were investigated in respect of a 13-year-old girl you were grooming, much as you were grooming Becky.

“Thankfully, this child Becky was not in fact a child.”

The court heard that Beastall had met Becky on an internet chatroom called Land Ahoy.

Her profile said she was 16, but Beastall later found out she was 13 and asked if she wanted him to stop.

When Becky replied that it was up to him, Beastall instigated further conversations and filmed himself performing a sex act.

When police swooped on Beastall’s home, detectives found contact details on his computer for other under-age girls who have not been traced.

The year before he had been investigated for the online grooming of another 13-year-old. But police dropped the charges because they didn’t have enough evidence.

John Armstrong, mitigating, said Beastsall, whose wife is now filing for divorce, turned to the web out of loneliness.

He said: “He sought solace in internet chatrooms when he was feeling low, isolated and suffering from low self-esteem.”

Beastall was also banned from internet chatrooms and given a seven-year sexual offences prevention order.