March 2015

Pensioner, 75, posed as boy to groom girl, 13, online before having sex with her

Maurice-McCullough

A depraved pensioner who posed as a 16-year-old boy on social media to groom a 13-year-old girl for sex has been jailed for 10 years.

Maurice McCullough started talking to the girl online when she was just 12 before gaining her trust and convincing her to send explicit pictures of herself.

Having admitted lying about his age but trying to claim he was 46, the pervert went on to meet her in a park shortly after her 13th birthday.

When she realised he was even older he continued to groom her and had they had sex on four separate occasions 

McCullough, 75, from Wythenshawe, Manchester, was arrested after a concerned onlooker saw them acting suspiciously in a park in St Helens, Merseyside.

The pensioner was charged and later admitted 11 counts of grooming, inciting a child to carry out sexual acts and carrying out sexual acts with a child.

The offences took place between October 2013 and the end of November 2014.

Sentencing him to 10 years behind bars, Judge Robert Warnock told Liverpool Crown Court it was one of the worst cases of child sex exploitation he had ever seen.

He said: “You courted your victim via the internet when she was 12 years old and you were in your 70s.

“You tricked her into believing you were 16 years old.

“The case against you is utterly overwhelming.

“This is one of the worst cases I’ve ever had the misfortune to deal with.”

In a witness statement, the victim’s mother said: “The visit from the police to tell us our daughter had been groomed and abused was like a bullet; it shattered our lives.

“My daughter had not shown any outward signs of being upset or distressed, so the news was completely unexpected.

“He had taken away her innocence, her childhood, gone forever.”