July 2020

Gateshead pensioner, 82, sent ‘stomach-churning’ messages to what he thought was a 13-year-old girl

Perverted pensioner Joseph Lennard sent “stomach churning” messages to what he thought was a 13-year-old girl – including claiming he had abused a six-year-old.

Lennard, 82, set up a profile online initially purporting to be a female called “Wendy13F” and made contact with a profile he believed was that of a child called Amy.

In fact, paedophile hunters Dark Justice were behind the decoy profile, a court heard.

But Lennard, who eventually revealed himself to be a man but lied about his age, believed he was talking to a girl who was 13 or had just turned 14 and sent hundreds of messages over a three week period.

While many were innocuous, he spoke to her about sex acts and sent a picture of male genitals.

Newcastle Crown Court heard he also claimed that when he worked as a lorry driver, he had been responsible for importing illegal immigrants and had been “responsible for a child sex offence with a child as young as six in India” and implied he had engaged in sexual activity with other children in the past.

Lennard, of Low Fell, Gateshead, pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and possessing extreme pornography involving bestiality.

Judge Julie Clemitson said the Wendy13F profile created by Lennard suggested it was that of a 13-year-old girl, although the biography was that of an adult female aged 31.

The judge told Lennard: “Quite why you chose to present yourself in that way is unclear. It suggests you were interested in meeting other young girls and hiding your true identity.”

The chat moved from Meet4u to WhatsApp and there were many pages of messages.

Judge Clemitson said while a lot of the conversation was innocuous: “There were some fairly stomach-churning passages.

“You tried to impress her with tales of exploiting children abroad.

“You described having a sexual experience with a six-year-old girl. Whether it’s true or not, the fact you fantasised about it and discussed it with what you thought was a child is disgusting.

“You also discussed fantasies about nurses touching you up in hospital.”

The judge said the bestiality video found on his computer was “depraved to say the least” and said he had “disturbing appetites”.

Lennard was sentenced to a three year community order and must sign the sex offenders register and be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for five years.

The court heard the shame of the conviction is such that Lennard feels he may have to move from the sheltered accommodation he lives in.