June 2019

Pervert tried to arrange to meet underage girls to sexually abuse

A pervert who tried to arrange to meet underage girls to sexually abuse them after chatting online was caught by paedophile hunting groups on THREE separate occasions

Daniel Gwatkin (28), of Shakespeare Road, Wath, spoke to three decoys who were posing as girls as young as 12 and asked one if they could have sex at her school.

He was sentenced to two years in jail, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete a rehabilitation course for sex offenders when he was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court last Thursday.

Judge Jeremy Richardson told him: “One step out of line and you will go to prison.”

Mr James Baird, prosecuting, said Gwatkin had started chatting to the first decoy “Chloe” in October 2017 on Facebook, where he used the name Danny Bamford.

“The girl said she was 14, he said he was 26 and that he was fine with that age,” said Mr Baird.

Gwatkin continued to use the Bamford account to speak to the girl but he also used his own account to send a picture of his genitals to her.

He asked her whether he could perform various sexual acts on her and if they could have sex in the toilets at her school.

“He asked Chloe to send pictures of her to him and he said to Chloe that she should keep their conversations private,” said Mr Baird.

Gwatkin arranged to meet “Chloe” at Tesco Extra in Wath — but the paedophile hunters were lying in wait, apprehended him and reported him to police.

He admitted during interview that the fake Facebook account was his.

Gwatkin also spoke online to another decoy, “Lacey”, in March last year.

She said she was 14 but Gwatkin still turned the conversation to sexual matters and said they could have a “secret relationship”, Mr Baird said.

Gwatkin sent her lewd comments about his genitals and asked Lacey if he could perform a sexual act on her, the court heard.

He arranged to meet her in Barnsley town centre in April but was caught by paedophile hunting group One Reason.

The court was also hold how Gwatkin had been in contact with a third decoy, who used the name Katie and said she was 12.

“He engaged her in a sexual conversation and told her: ‘We could have a secret relationship’,” said Mr Baird.

Gwatkin pleaded guilty at Sheffield Crown Court on May 2 to two counts of attempting to meet a child following grooming and one count of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

He was ordered to complete 35 sessions of rehabilitation programme for sexual offenders and up to 30 days with the probation service.

Gwatkin was also given a 6pm to 6am curfew for four months.

South Yorkshire Police refused to release a custody photograph of Gwatkin because his case “did not meet the threshold”.