January 2021

North Wales man with ‘warped attitude to children’ snared by paedophile hunters

A man with a “warped attitude” to children was caught after being snared by paedophile hunters.

Steven Fowles, 30, used the internet to exchange messages with several underage “girls” who were all decoys.

He pleaded guilty at Mold Crown Court today to 14 child sex offences.

A judge based the sentence on the most serious charge of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and gave Fowles a two year jail term, suspended for two years.

The judge also ordered Fowles to go on an evaluation programme for sex offenders called Horizon.

Prosecutor Sarah Badrawy told the court that it was clear from messages that Fowles, of Waverley Crescent, Rossett, Wrexham, believed he was communicating with girls aged 13 and 14

In one case, he contacted a “girl” he knew to be 14 and pretended he was 19 before later admitting to her he was almost 30 at the time.

He sent her an indecent photograph of himself and asked her to send an indecent picture of herself to him.

But the decoy girls were really adults from groups including the Fleetwood Enforcers and Elite Solo Decoys.

Last July the Fleetwood Enforcers were about to conduct a sting operation to try to catch Fowles and showed a police and community support officer screenshots of his internet messages.

But police then went to his home to arrest him.

The judge His Honour Niclas Parry said: “Over a short period to satisfy your warped attitude to children – placing your need to satisfy your sexual urges above any concerns for them – you attempted to have serious sexual contact with as many as five girls that you believed were 13 and 14.

“You lied about your age and encouraged them to touch themselves sexually. There was even a suggestion that you should meet.”

Fowles was handed a 10 year Sexual Harm Prevention Order preventing him contacting girls under 16 or deleting his internet search history.

He also ordered Fowles to do 60 days of rehabilitation activity and 150 hours of unpaid work.