December 2020

Paedophile pensioner drove 200 miles to Wakefield with gifts for children he arranged to abuse

A paedophile pensioner who arranged to travel over 200 miles just to abuse two children in Wakefield had even brought presents for them, a court was told.

Twisted William George Smith, 68, travelled from his home in Wiltshire thinking he was meeting a man in a pub who had two children with him.

They had met over the internet weeks before and arranged for Smith to drive up to West Yorkshire to sexually abuse the youngsters, but when he arrived in the city pub he was met by police who informed him he was the target of a sting operation.

Prosecuting the case at Leeds Crown Court, Katherine Robinson said that Smith thought he had been talking to another paedophile online by the name of ‘Mark’, who was actually an undercover police officer.

The officer told Smith he had two children – a boy aged 12 and a girl aged 10 – who he had abused himself.

Smith then sent detailed messages about wishing to perform sex acts on both children and arranged a meeting on July 30.

Smith even phoned ‘Mark’ on the day of the meeting to say he had set off from his home on Oak Close, in the town of Tidworth, south east England, then phoned him again to say he was struggling to find the pub when he reached Wakefield.

He eventually found the pub, but was promptly arrested. He admitted he had even brought gifts for the two fictitious youngsters.

He pleaded guilty to four counts of arranging to abuse children.

Held on remand at HMP Leeds, Smith was audibly impatient throughout this morning’s hearing as he appeared via videolink.

A report claimed Smith had little understanding on the impact the abuse would have on the children had they been real, suggesting his involvement would have been diminished because they had been abused before.

Jailing him for three years, Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said: “It’s apparent that most of your life you have had a sexual interest in children, and until this year appeared not to have acted on it.

“It’s very troubling to read that you have little or no insight into the effect that this abuse would have on children.

“You did not think it would cause any greater harm because they had already been abused.”

A sexual harm prevention order (SHPO), to monitor his behaviour on his release, is to be arranged at a later date.