August 2019

Paedophile dad-of-four caught messaging underage girl when her father saw his obscene notes

A paedophile was caught grooming an underage girl online after her father stumbled across sexualised messages sent to his daughter on Facebook.

Gareth Emery, 37, groomed the 14-year-old girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, over the social media site after sending her a friend request and initiated sexually inappropriate conversations.

Despite knowing that his victim was underage Emery repeatedly asked for pictures of her and asked her if and where she would liked to be kissed.

He also asked the teenager about past experiences with boyfriends, made references to sexual acts, and told her he would take her shopping for underwear.

His offending only came to light when the victim’s father saw his profile on her Facebook page and was horrified when he saw the messages he had sent his daughter.

Not only was Emery grooming a real girl online but he was also sending sexualised messages to three accounts belonging to decoys from paedophile hunting groups which he believed to be underage girls.

At a sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on Wednesday prosecutor Owen Williams said Emery’s real victim sent photos of herself but she was fully clothed or wearing pyjamas.

He said: “[Emery] talked about kissing and touching her, squeezing her backside, and how pyjamas were a turn-on for him.”

When police analysed the teenager’s phone they found 620 messages sent between Emery and her.

The defendant was arrested at his home in Llantwit Fardre, near Pontypridd , on January 24.

When police looked at his phone they found more sexualised conversations with three other accounts – two purporting to be 14-year-old girls and one posing as a 13-year-old girl.

In these conversations Emery asked to meet up with these girls, asked them to send pictures – in one case in their school uniform – and made comments of a sexual nature referring to their bodies and sexual acts.

Sentencing, Recorder of Cardiff Judge Eleri Rees said Emery was persistent in messaging what he believed to be young girls over a six-month period.

She said: “There was a real child and fortunately her father intervened before matters escalated further.

“There is some minimisation of your responsibility and an element of victim-blaming. Here there was persistence with which this activity took place over a period of time in relation to four potential victims.”

Emery, of Queens Drive, was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment, was ordered to sign the sex offenders register, and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order.