April 2021

Paedophile took baby wipes, WKD and Mini Eggs to Preston McDonald’s meet up

A paedophile who took baby wipes, WKD and Mini Eggs with him to a McDonald’s in Lancashire for a planned meeting with a ’12-year-old girl’ has been jailed.

Paul Coulthwaite had called the child “sexy” and said he wanted them to meet in secret, planning to lure her away from her home.

But the 55-year-old didn’t get to give the girl the mint Aero chocolate and WKD he bought her because instead of a schoolgirl he was greeted on Longsands in Preston by police who arrested him for his sickening offences.

Prosecutor Christopher Hopkins said that between January 7 and January 19 this year Coulthwaite spoke with an officer who was pretending to be a 13-year-old called Paige.

They used Chat Avenue and texted and “literally within minutes” of the first message Coulthwaite said “I’m a bit horny”.

Mr Hopkins said: “He went on to tell her she was nice and they carried on chatting. He suggested they meet.”

Coulthwaite said he wanted to meet so they could “cuddle and have a cheeky kiss” before suggesting he could shower with the child.

When the ‘girl’ told him she was going to bed the sickening pervert told her she should perform a sex act on herself.

Mr Hopkins said Coulthwaite would persistently groom what he thought was a 13-year-old and “manipulated the conversation to sexual content at any opportunity and used flattery”

Between January 8 and February 10 in the same year Coulthwaite also spoke with what he thought was a 12-year-old girl called Rebecca.

Mr Hopkins said: “The conversation followed a similar pattern, he told her she was pretty and sexy.”

He suggested they met and said: “We could meet away from your house one day when there’s no lockdown.”

Mr Hopkins explained Coulthwaite told the girl he wanted them to be “online boyfriend and girlfriend” and “told her repeatedly contact between them needed to be secret”.

Coulthwaite said they would “kiss and cuddle and feel each other” before listing sex acts he wanted to perform.

When the police officer, pretending to be the girl, said she had “never cuddled and kissed a grown up” Coulthwaite said “hopefully that will change”.

On February 12 he travelled from his Newton-Le-Willows home to a McDonald’s on Longsands in Preston where he was hoping to meet the girl.

Having asked her “what she would like him to bring” the girl asked for WKD which Coulthwaite brought with him.

Instead of a schoolgirl Coulthwaite was greeted by police officers who found that as well as the alcopop he had brought baby wipes, a kitchen towel, a mint Aero chocolate, Mini Eggs and a necklace in a gift bag with the girl’s name on.

Coulthwaite, of Haydock Street, Newton-Le-Willows, admitted two counts of sexual communication with a child, attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and meeting a child following sexual grooming.

Judge Thomas Teague, QC, said Coulthwaite’s sexual intent was confirmed when he turned up and “by the articles you brought”.

The judge said: “You arranged to meet her at a branch of McDonald’s in Preston near where she lived. You turned up for that meeting and were promptly arrested.”

Judge Teague noted he had brought a “gift wrapped necklace”, “chocolates”, “drink” and “baby wipes” for the meeting and was “doing your best to groom” what he thought were children.

The judge said: “I have no doubt you would have done the same to ‘Paige’ if you had got as far as meeting her as you plainly would have liked to do.”

Judge Teague noted in a pre sentence report Coulthwaite didn’t accept full responsibility for his actions and is “still struggling to come to terms with your guilt of these offences”.

The judge noted Coulthwaite had previously been arrested in relation to different offences which were not proceeded with and at that point “sought help” but was unsuccessful.

Judge Teague reduced the sentence to reflect Coulthwaite’s guilty plea and the current impact of the coronavirus pandemic on prisoners.

Coulthwaite was jailed for three years and was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life

He must also adhere to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for life which bans him from being in the presence of any child under 16 unless social services are aware