March 2021

Paedophile who said ‘age is just a number’ told parent he wanted to rape girl

A twisted paedophile told a parent he wanted to rape their 12-year-old daughter – and bragged that ‘age is just a number’.

Michael Wem, 33, from Pocklington, near York, groomed children online under the account name ‘Wammy’

He sent videos of him pleasuring himself to a 12-year-old girl, although she was actually a ‘decoy’ account being operated by a paedophile hunter.

When discussing his interest in girls, Wem told her ‘the younger the better… age is just a number’.

He also sent messages to a parent revealing his ‘dark fantasy’ and asking for pictures of their daughter so he could rape them.

Wem was described as a “high risk” offender by the probation service after details of his crimes came to light.

Hull Crown Court heard on Monday, March 8, Wem began sending a series of concerning messages to what he thought was a 12-year-old girl in April 2019.

The girl was in fact a decoy used by a volunteer working to snare paedophiles.

Craig Lowe, prosecuting, told the court Wem used an account under the name “Wammy” and began messaging the decoy, who told him a number of times she was a 12-year-old girl.

Mr Lowe said Wem told the girl he wanted her as his girlfriend and asked if she wanted to swap pictures with him.

The prosecutor said: “On April 20 the decoy received a message from him and an exchange took place. He asked her if she had any pictures. He sent two of himself and the decoy sent one back of her. He then sent a bare-chested image and told her he slept naked.

“He asked if she had had sex before and if she had a good body. He sent another picture and said she was very hot and sexy and asked if she would meet up with him.

“When asked what would happen, he said, “I’d definitely kiss you.’ He said he would take her in his car and she asked if it was right for an adult man to kiss a 12-year-old. He said, ‘if you want to’.”

Wem also told the decoy he “wanted someone younger” and said “The younger the better” and “age is just a number”.

He told the girl to keep their communications a secret before sending two videos of him pleasuring himself

The court heard Wem also targeted what he thought was another 12-year-old girl, but again she turned out to be a decoy used by a paedophile hunter.

When Wem was arrested, indecent images of category A, B and C were found on his phone alongside messages to a parent that said: “My dark fantasy is a young girl. Show me pictures of your 12-year-old daughter so I can rape your 12-year-old daughter.”

Michael Masson, mitigating, told Hull Crown Court Wem had been deemed a high-risk offender by the probation service.

Judge John Thackray QC told Wem his crimes were no lesser because his victims were not actually children.

Jailing him for two years, the judge said: “The fact the intended victim did not exist does not subtract from your intended harm, which was substantial.

“You believed you were communicating with a 12-year-old girl. This was aggravated by your possession of the images.”

Wem will serve up to half of his sentence in custody before he is released on licence in the community.

He previously pleaded guilty to the following charges: attempt to engage with sexual communication with a child, attempt to cause a child under 13 to watch/look at an image of a sexual activity, attempt to engage in sexual communication with a child, and make indecent photograph/pseudo photograph of a child.