March 2013

Convicted paedophile lives next to school


A CONVICTED paedophile freed early from prison is living opposite a primary school in Longton.

David Webb, 48, was jailed for two years in 2008 for grooming a 12-year-old schoolgirl and pestered her to send him X-rated snaps.

But he was released midway through his term and now lives opposite the primary on the outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent. It has around 400 pupils aged between three and 11.

Parents are furious. One mother, who has three children in the school but did not want to be named, said: “I bet he can see right into the playground — it makes my skin crawl.

“It’s ridiculous he is allowed to be there. No perverts should be allowed near schools.”

During his 2008 trial at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, the judge labelled Webb’s behaviour a “classic example of sexual grooming”.

The court heard that he sent hundreds of text messages to the girl — fully aware she was 32 years his junior.

He pleaded guilty to three charges of possessing indecent images of a child, and three charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Webb, who is on the Sex Offenders Register, last night said: “I’m not in breach of anything.

“I don’t think anybody should be concerned. I have done all the courses.”

The Probation Service said Webb’s licence finished three years ago so he is no longer monitored. Staffs Police said: “Public protection is a top priority. If anyone has any concerns they should ring 101.”

December 2008

Man persuaded girl, 12, to text photos

PERVERT David Webb has been jailed for two years after he groomed a schoolgirl and incited her to take revealing photographs of herself and send them to him.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard yesterday the 44-year-old businessman knew the girl, who was 32 years his junior.

Prosecutor Paul Spratt, said Webb was aware she was 12 years old when he began texting her.

He said the offending began after the girl was given a mobile phone by her dad in August 2007. When he received a bill the following month he noted a very large number of texts.

On closer examination he noticed his daughter had received 644 texts from the same phone and she had sent 746 texts to the same number.

Mr Spratt said: “It is clear from the text messages the defendant began communicating with the girl on matters they should not have done. They became increasingly intimate, including questions of a sexual nature, as to what she may have done, with who, and where.

“The defendant seemed increasingly keen to know information.

“He encouraged her to take photos of the lower part of herself, and when they did not arrive he texted her ‘what, no pic yet?’.

“She took three photos of herself in the bathroom and sent them to the defendant.

He received them and sent a number of texts showing his obvious delight.”

The girl’s father reported his concerns to the police, and the girl told her mother what had been going on.

Webb, of Cedar Road, Crackley, was arrested.

He accepted that towards the end his relationship with the girl was inappropriate, but he did not accept he had been encouraging.

But he pleaded guilty last month to three charges of possessing indecent images of a child, and three charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Joanne Wallbanks, defending, said Webb has no previous convictions or cautions and has lost his good character.

She said: “He is highly thought of in the business community and this behaviour is out of character.

“He has not blamed the girl or denied having any problem.

“He wants to go on the sex offenders’ programme.

He still cannot understand how he got himself into this situation.”

Judge Paul Glenn told Webb: “She was naive and vulnerable.

“In a month you sent a 12-year-old 644 texts and rang her 41 times. Some of the texts were innocent, other texts you sent were completely disgusting. You pestered her to take indecent photos of herself and send them to you.

“This is a classic example of sexual grooming. You were obviously sexually attracted to her and seeking to have a sexual relationship with her. I am satisfied that was your ultimate intention.”

Webb will serve up to half his sentence with the rest on licence. He will be on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.