Sexual predator jailed for eight years after ‘paedophile hunter’ sting in Taunton
SEXUAL predator Andrew Winfield has been jailed after being ‘set up’ by paedophile hunters in Taunton.
Winfield, 52, arranged to meet a schoolgirl who he met online at the bandstand near Morrisons but they turned out to be members of a vigilante group.
He admitted sending messages of a sexual nature to ‘Lily’, 13, and ‘Sophia’, 14, as well as naked photographs of himself before the encounter on November 25 last year.
Judge David Ticehurst sentenced Winfield, of Hermitage Road, Plymouth to a total of eight years in prison – six years in custody which is subject to an extended license of two years.
The judge said Winfield wrote him a letter expressing “total disgust” with himself and explained he is suffering from anxiety and depression.
He said: “It seems to me you feel very sorry for yourself. The people you should feel sorry for are those you attempted to abuse.
“I accept entirely that these girls concerned were fictional and didn’t exist – you didn’t know that.
“When you do the things you do, you don’t know who you are talking to, whether it’s a real girl or a so-called paedophile hunter setting you up – and caught you were.
He also told Winfield there has been a pattern of sexual offending for a decade and that he believed he posed a significant risk to young children.
Outlining the case, Rachel Drake, prosecutor, said Winfield had been using his mobile phone to chat up the young girls and the conversation turned to “sexual matters” and encouraged them to touch themselves and imagine it was him doing it.
He communicated with the ‘girls’ between November 13 and November 15 before he became surrounded by a vigilante group when he went to an arranged meet on November 25.
She also told the court he was sentenced to four years in prison for attempted rape in 2008 and breached a sexual harm prevention order in 2013.
“The fact there is a failure to comply with a court order is another aggravating feature in this case,” she said.
The court also heard that Winfield is addicted to sex lines and dating sites.
Patrick Mason, defending, said Winfield had grown up in Oxfordshire and Plymouth and had lived a quiet and normal life until his conviction for attempted rape in 2008.
He is now estranged from his parents as a result of his offending.
Mr Mason said: “He is a man who quite obviously has some mental health problems. They seem to resolve around anxiety and depression. In the last few weeks he has resorted to self-harming in prison. He is feeling terribly under pressure and driven to harm himself and he can’t stop doing it for the time being.”
Winfield’s father has also stopped him seeing his mother, who has dementia, which is contributing to his poor mental health.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of having met or communicated with a girl under the age of 16.
He was also charged with attempting to cause a girl under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity and being in breach of a sexual harm prevention order.
He is also subject to a new sexual harm prevention order which also bans him from using his mobile phones for sexual purposes.
Convicted sex predator caught meeting child for sex
An already convicted & ‘dangerous sexual predator’ we caught last month has appeared in court to PLEAD GUILTY to the following charges;
– Adult to meet a girl under 16 years of age following grooming.
– Adult to meet a girl under the age of 16 following grooming.
– Attempt to cause a female aged 13 or over to engage in a penetrative sexual activity.
– Breach of his active (life long) sexual harm prevention order
To be sentenced 22 January
Andrew Winfield, 52 of Plymouth believed he was grooming a 14-year-old girl for sexual activity.
Winfield arranged to meet our decoy and travelled to Taunton. However, we met him outside Morrisons supermarket and presented him with our evidence.
Winfield has previous convictions for the attempted rape of a 17-year-old girl, who he dragged into bushes, violently assaulted and threatened to kill.
He was jailed in 2008 and served 7 years in total for that offence.
Attached is the story of his previous conviction that was sent to us by the brave and courageous survivor herself.