October 2010

Pervert jailed after targeting girls, 13, for sex

A MAN has been jailed after offering two 13-year-old girls £100 to engage in sexual activity with him.

Richard Sharrock bombarded the teenagers with sexually-suggestive text messages over several weeks.

The married 46-year-old later left a note at a livery stable asking for other young girls to contact him.

Sharrock, of Walley Drive, Burslem, was jailed for two years at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court yesterday, after admitting arranging or facilitating a child sex offence, as well as five other offences.

The court heard Sharrock first came into contact with the teenagers after they had left an advert on a classifieds website, offering their services as dog walkers.

Sharrock, using the name “Dave”, sent the girls dozens of text messages from June 15 to July 4, 2008.

At first he seemed to want the girls to walk his wife’s Jack Russell, but his messages soon became more sinister.

Philip Beadwell, prosecuting, said: “He sent a picture of a naked male in a full-length mirror.

“He offered to pay one of the girls £100 for ‘the most fun she’d ever have’.”

Sharrock told the girls he wanted to perform a sex act on them and asked them to send him a picture.

Mr Beardwell said: “He sent 70 text messages to one of the girls. Some of them became threatening.”

The matter was reported to the police, but they were unable to trace the phone which had been used to send the messages and the case was closed.

More than a year later, on August 9, 2009, a note was found near Roche House Farm Livery, Thorncliffe Road, Leek, requesting the services of girls aged seven to 13, for sexual purposes.

Sharrock wrote on the note that he would pay £200 for such services over the summer holidays and included a mobile phone number.

Livery staff sent text messages to the number to see if the note was genuine and, when it became apparent that it was, contacted the police.

Detectives were now able to trace both phone numbers to Sharrock’s workplace and he was arrested.

Sharrock’s home was searched and 44 indecent images of children were found on his computer, the bulk of which were of the lowest of five levels.

Sharrock admitted his guilt, but claimed he had only carried out his offences when he was drunk.

Peter McCartney, defending, said: “He had a difficult upbringing, and that has contributed to him being an isolated character.

“He is married and his wife is probably his one friend.

“He acknowledges he has betrayed her by committing these offences, but she has stood by him and continues to be supportive of him.”

Mr McCartney said a failed business venture had left Sharrock in debt and, while he continued to work, he had developed a drinking problem.

He said: “He committed these offences while in drink.

“When he was sober he recognised how wrong his behaviour had been while he was drunk.

“He has taken steps to try to address this problem.”

Judge James Orrell sentenced Sharrock to two years for arranging or facilitating a child sex offence, with 18 months concurrent for attempting to facilitate a child sex offence.

He also received concurrent sentences for four counts of making indecent images of children, and will be on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.