March 2021

Paedophile tried to arrange sex with child

A paedophile was caught trying to arrange a sexual getaway with a child by a police officer working undercover.

Trevor Griffiths, knowing that the boy was 14 years old, made plans to fly with him to Belfast and spend the night with him.

Online chat logs revealed the disgusting sexual acts the 61-year-old was planning with the child before he was arrested by police.

A search of the dad-of-six’s home then revealed his stash of extreme pornographic images and indecent images of children, which included babies.

Griffiths, of Ajax Avenue in Longford, appeared before Liverpool Crown Court to be sentenced this morning, Tuesday, where his ‘predatory’ actions were described as ‘appalling’.

Martyn Walsh, prosecuting, explained how the defendant’s attempts to incite the child into sexual activity occurred online between January 10 and January 17, 2019.

Under the profile of Tom, a 59-year-old man from Warrington, Griffiths began communicating with the undercover police officer under the guise of Mark, aged 14.

Griffiths discussed his plan to fly to Belfast with the boy, where they would go to the cinema, visit McDonalds and share a hotel room together.

The grandfather-of-24 told Mark to tell him mum that he would be staying at a friend’s house and that he ‘loved him’.

Talk turned to how they would have sex, wash each other in a sexual manner and kiss and cuddle in bed.

The defendant confirmed to the officer that he had booked a flight and bought a top-up voucher for Mark’s phone so they could stay in touch. He said that Mark made him feel ‘good inside and happy’.

On January 17, Griffiths chose to block contact with Mark, with a second undercover police officer posing as Jess – a 17-year-old girl from Salford – attempting to get back in touch.

It was in discussion with the second officer that he let slip his real name and phone number, allowing police to identify him and his home address.

It was also discovered that the top-up voucher Griffiths had given to Mark for his phone was bought in a shop a short walk from his Longford home.

A warrant was executed at his address on April 30, with the defendant denying any knowledge of discussions with Mark.

Three mobile phones were seized, on which police found the indecent images of children, along with search history terms including ‘under 16 sex’.

After answering ‘no comment’ during a police interview, Griffiths was charged with possession of 63 indecent images of children, three counts of making indecent images of children – including 47 in the most severe category A – and possession of 77 extreme pornographic images.

He was also charged with attempting to incite a child into sexual activity and breaching his notification requirements to sign the sex offenders register while on bail.

Mr Walsh revealed to the court that Griffiths had no previous convictions.

The hearing took place in part on Monday afternoon, but was adjourned to this morning after the court ran out of time.

Before adjourning, recorder Ian Harris said: “The facts of this case would appal right thinking members of society.

“The details of some of the photos are just horrific, including babies and seven-year-old children.”

When resuming the hearing today, he added: “In your pre-sentence report, your actions are described as predatory.

“These offences clearly cross the custody threshold, and in my judgement, there are no grounds to suspend the inevitable custodial sentence.”

Griffiths was jailed for 20 months, made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for 15 years and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.

He was also told he must pay a victim surcharge, while a prosecution request for the forfeiture and destruction of mobile phones was granted