February 2021

Paedophile took girl 30 years younger than him to caravan for sex

Police looking for a vulnerable young girl found a used condom in a mobile home belonging to a 44-year-old man, a court has heard.

Darren Murphy-Francis denied having sex with the child but forensic tests showed otherwise.

The father-of-three from Llanelli has now been jailed for four years.

Swansea Crown Court heard that in the summer of 2020 police who were looking for a missing schoolgirl went to a mobile home near Pontyclun.

Sophie Hill, prosecuting, said officers knocked on the door but there was no answer. However when they looked through the window they saw a man hiding inside.

The court heard the suspect initially told police his name was Darren Thomas before revealing his true identity as Murphy-Francis.

In interview he denied doing anything wrong but forensic tests on a condom found in the mobile home showed it contained the defendant’s semen and there was DNA from the missing girl on the outside.

Murphy-Francis, of Railway Terrace, Llanelli, had previously pleaded guilty to sexual touching, and that touching being penetration, when he appeared in the dock for sentencing.

The court heard he has 15 previous convictions for 27 offences – mainly for motoring and dishonesty matters.

Judge Geraint Walters told Murphy-Francis he had only admitted what he had done “when forensic evidence effectively made it impossible” for him to continue his denials.

He added that he had his doubts whether the defendant was truly remorseful.

Giving the defendant a 20% discount for his guilty plea the judge sentenced him to four years in prison.

Murphy-Francis will serve up to half that period in custody before being released on licence.

Murphy-Francis was made the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and will be a registered sex offender for the rest of his life.