May 2016

Cheshire paedophile sent thousands of Facebook friend requests to schoolboys

A twisted paedophile sent thousands of Facebook friend requests to schoolboys in the hope he would eventually meet up with them.

Richard Jones, 51, used multiple mobile phones and sim cards to contact the young boys, many of whom were under the age of 13.

Jones had been put on a 10-year sexual offences prevention order in March 2012 and was previously jailed for breaching it before he was released in April 2015.

He was locked up again for three years at Chester Crown Court on May 3.

Judge Roger Dutton said: “This is the second time you have breached a sexual offences order.

“You previously spent time in prison. It seems upon your release you’ve begun to make contact in your own way with underage victims of your sexual activities.

“Probation are of the clear view there’s an ongoing clear pattern of sexual offending.

“You are sexually motivated and you were hoping for contact with those you messaged.”

Jones, of James Lee House, Brick Street, Warrington, was caught out by the mother of a boy he added on Facebook.

She looked at his profile and saw he had 77 friends, who were mostly young boys, before contacting the police.

Jones said he had sent out ‘thousands of friend requests’ to schoolboys in Cheshire, from ‘a number of Facebook accounts’.

He was friends with 13 boys at the same school in Runcorn and admitted sending one of them a message which said ‘Merry Christmas’ on Christmas Day 2015.

The sexual offences prevention order he had been put on in 2012 did not permit him to contact anyone under the age of 16.

Anthony Rose, defending, said this was ‘clearly an innocuous season greeting’.

Judge Dutton said: “Well that’s the problem isn’t it? He was contacting them because he has a sexual interest in young boys.”

Jones was arrested on January 2, 2016.

The pre-sentence report found he represented a ‘high risk of sexual harm towards children, especially boys’.

Mr Rose said the fact Jones had finally admitted he had a problem meant probation could move forward and work with him.

He said: “He has agreed with me that his actions were sexually motivated. He didn’t say that to the people who made the pre-sentence report.

“At this stage he appears to be taking some responsibility.”

Jones also pleaded guilty to possessing nine indecent images of children and an image of extreme pornography.

These were found after further forensic examination of his phone after his arrest.

He was sentenced to 12 months in prison for these further five counts.

Judge Dutton said: “When he is released what he does and where he lives will be clearly monitored.

“You will again be made to sign a sexual offences prevention order, but this one will last without the limitation of time.”