November 2013

Web ‘sting’ Sutton OAP trying to meet teenage girl jailed


A RETIRED university lecturer who drove to a Nuneaton park expecting to meet a 15-year-old girl for oral sex has been jailed after his case was delayed for him to receive cancer treatment.

In fact 15-year-old ‘Jodie,’ who Maurice Ingram had been expecting to meet following explicit online chat, did not exist, Warwick Crown Court was told.

He had been snared by ‘self-appointed vigilantes’ who had invented Jodie and confronted him with a video camera when he turned up at Hartshill Hayes Country Park in Nuneaton.

Ingram, aged 67 of Harman Road, Sutton Coldfield, who had admitted arranging to meet a child following sexual grooming, was jailed for 12 months.

Judge Sylvia de Bertodano also ordered him to register as a sex offender for ten years and made him subject to a sexual offences prevention order restricting his contact with children.

Ingram had been caught as a result of a ‘sting,’ and prosecutor Patrick Sullivan explained: “Kieran Parsons and David Riley have decided to actively hunt online sexual predators.

“To that end, Kieran Parsons set up a profile on a social chat network purporting to be a girl called Jodie from Nuneaton.”

The site was for over-18s, and Jodie’s profile was accompanied by a photograph of a girl who was 18-plus, ‘but the intent was that as soon as someone contacted her, she would point out her purported age of 15.’

Two days after Jodie’s profile had been set up, Ingram made contact with her using the handle ‘Mike 61’ and told her: “You look gorgeous. Shame I’m too old for you.”

The reply came back: “I’m 15, and I like older men.”

Ingram responded that she sounded ‘perfect’ and that he would ‘love to misbehave’ with her; and was told she was thinking the same.

They then went on to discuss meeting, during which Ingram said he ‘likes lots of oral,’ and arranged to meet.

In one of his last messages before setting off for Hartshill Hayes Country Park, Ingram wrote: “I’m a bit scared; you’re so young. I don’t want to get into trouble.”

But he turned up anyway – and was confronted by Kieran Parsons and his friend who recorded the encounter as Ingram eventually admitted being there to meet the girl, but claimed he was going to tell her he did not want to go through with it.

And Judge de Bertodano said: “The reason it did not succeed was merely because the girl was not real; it wasn’t a change of mind.”

At an earlier hearing in July the case was adjourned after the court heard Ingram, was due to undergo radiotherapy for an acute form of cancer.

The judge on that occasion, Judge Alan Parker said that to jail Ingram straight away ‘might be sentencing him to death,’ but warned him that the eventual outcome was still likely to be a sentence of imprisonment.

Laura Cully, defending, said Ingram ‘is still a severely ill man,’ and although he has finished the radiotherapy course, which has itself caused side-effects, he has not yet had the blood tests to show how successful it has been.

But Judge de Bertodano observed: “There is nothing I have read which suggests he would not be strong enough to serve a custodial sentence.”

Miss Cully pointed out that when he was first arrested Ingram was told by the police that they would caution him, but then changed their minds and charged him.

At the time he was at a low point in him life and was beginning to suffer the symptoms of prostate cancer, although it had not yet been diagnosed.

“He started talking to adult women on the internet and not all were sexual. He was trying to reach out and make friends – and this particular conversation came about with someone who initially purported to be an adult.

“Where Mr Ingram went wrong is that when she said she was not an adult, he continued the conversation. It was a day of complete madness.

“Mr Parsons is a self-styled, self-appointed vigilante who filmed it and put it on the internet where it quickly had 80,000 hits.”

Miss Cully said Ingram had been a respected senior university lecturer for 25 years until he retired.

But since that day ‘his life has completely fallen apart,’ and he has lost good friends and neighbours, has had to install extra security measures at his home and is trying to move from the area.

Jailing Ingram, Judge de Bertodano told him: “The reason you are here is because you were trying to meet a young girl on a chat site.

“It is extremely fortunate there was no real girl in this case – but there might have been. We see regularly in these courts cases where real 15-year-olds are targeted in this way.

“I have no doubt that if the girl had existed the acts envisaged would have taken place.

“To say it is unfortunate you find yourself in this position is an understatement. You are a highly respectable man, and you have suffered consequences as a result of this, and you suffer from a severe medical condition.

“I have given it very careful consideration, but I cannot possibly suspend the sentence in this case.

“It is a case in which the public interest must outweigh the personal mitigation. A message must go out that if adults try to meet children for sex, they must go to prison.”

July 2013

Pervert pensioner snared by paedophile sting


A PERVERTED pensioner from Sutton Coldfield turned up at a park expecting to meet a 15-year-old girl to take part in sex act with him – only to be confronted by two men with a video camera, a court has heard.

Sixty-six-year-old Maurice Ingram fled from the scene in his car, but was traced by the police and pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted sexual grooming.

But after hearing that Ingram is due to undergo cancer treatment, a judge at Warwick Crown Court said that to jail him immediately ‘might be sentencing him to death.’

So Judge Alan Parker adjourned the case until after Ingram, of Harman Road, Sutton Coldfield, has undergone the potentially life-saving treatment, and granted him bail.

Prosecutor Charles Gardner said: “This is a slightly unusual case in that it arises out of what might colloquially be called a sting.

“There is a private individual, Stinson Hunter who made a statement to the police. He is carrying out something of a campaign against sexual predators preying on young children.

“What he has done, with the assistance of a friend, is to log on to a chat site where they create profiles and see what comes up. It was a site the defendant had logged on to before.

“Mr Hunter created a bogus profile of an 18-year-old calling herself Jodie who lived in the Nuneaton area, and with a photo of a compliant 18-plus.”

Jodie’s profile was set up on February 15, and just two days later Ingram went onto the site and came across it and got into a messaging conversation with Jodie.

Very early on ‘Jodie’ indicated she was in fact 15, and at that point no offence would have been committed if Ingram had signed off, pointed out Mr Gardner.

“However, he continued. It is quite apparent in the early stages that what the defendant wants, and what she appears to be encouraging, is some oral sex.

“Not much more than an hour later they arrange that he is going to come to a car park in the Nuneaton area and meet Jodie. He drove to the car park and pulled up and got out, and he is then confronted by Mr Hunter and another man.

“They accosted the defendant and put it to him that he had come there to have sex with a 15-year-old girl; and a video camera is produced.”

Ingram, who had no previous convictions of any kind, went back to his car, pursued by the two men recording him, and drove off, added Mr Gardner.

Laura Cully, defending, who handed in documents from Ingram’s GP and from University Hospital Birmingham, conceded the offence ‘normally attracts an immediate custodial sentence.’

Judge Parker remarked: “How can I avoid that? But if he is at liberty he will embark on a course of potentially life-saving treatment.”

Asking the judge to take ‘an exceptional course,’ Miss Cully said: “This is one of the shortest pieces of grooming you can imagine. He was lured into this by vigilantes.

“This was a complete moment of weakness and madness. Even on his way to the meeting he began to regret his actions.

“He describes it in his own words as something he is thoroughly and deeply ashamed of, and something which will live with him for the rest of his life, however long that may be.”

During the police investigation Ingram, who suffered the ‘deep public humiliation’ of the video attracting 60,000 YouTube ‘hits,’ was diagnosed with an acute form of cancer.

Miss Cully added that Ingram is due to have a scan next month to identify the exact area of the cancer, followed by daily sessions of radiotherapy for seven-and-a-half weeks.

Judge Parker said: “It is the course of treatment which is about to commence which gives me the greatest anxiety.

“If I send him to prison today, I might be sentencing him to death. But that is not a reason, necessarily, not to pass the proper sentence.

“If he had not got that condition I would not hesitate to send him to prison; but if the reality is that would prevent him having the treatment, that would be an inhumane sentence.”

Adjourning the case until at least mid-October, and granting him bail, Judge Parker told Ingram: “You have got to be punished; but only the most callous person would say that should prevent you receiving the treatment you need.

“I regard this matter as so serious and of such public concern that the likely outcome is a sentence of imprisonment forthwith; but I’m going to do nothing to stand in the way of the proper investigation of your condition and its treatment.”