February 2021

Redcar grandad, 83, caged after travelling to York to meet 14-year-old ‘girl’ for sex

An 83-year-old Redcar grandad travelled to York to meet what he believed to be a 14-year-old girl after disgusting Facebook sex chats.

Disgraced dad-of-seven William Lance now finds himself behind bars after being snared online sending appalling messages to a young ‘girl’.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Lance had messaged the social media account of a youngster who presented as a teenager living in Manchester.

Prosecutor Jonathan Walker explained the account was actually run by online paedophile hunters and the profile was a decoy to snare sex offenders.

Mr Walker said it was in September 2019 when Lance first contacted the girl.

“The conversation became sexualised from an extremely early stage”, he told the court.

“The defendant sent inappropriate messages, including an explicit picture.

“The decoy established her age as purporting to be 14 from the very outset.”

Lance posed troubling questions to the profile, including asking if she was alone in the house.

He even called her a “naughty girl” and encouraged her to perform a sex act.

Mr Walker said: “He said if she was four years older he would ask her to marry him.”

The chats concluded in disturbing fashion as Lance arranged to meet the girl at York train station and sent explicit messages.

The pensioner even travelled to York but was in for a rude awakening when he was arrested by the police.

A search of his phone also unearthed two pornographic images of young girls.

Lance pleaded guilty to:

  • Attempting to incite a girl to engage in sexual activity

  • Attempting to meet a girl under 16 following grooming

  • Attempting to have a sexual communication with a child

  • Two counts of making an indecent photo of a child

Judge Stephen Ashurst said the offending was so severe that only a prison term would be an appropriate sentence.

He jailed Lance, of Keswick Road, Redcar, for 12 months and made him the subject of a sexual harm prevention order.