May 2021

Paedophile told ’13-year-old girl’ she ‘won’t be a child after they have sex’

A paedophile who was caught by a ‘hunter group’ in online sting told the person who he thought was a 13-year-old girl that she was a “a young woman now and ready for sex”.

The 65-year-old cyber pervert Paul Pickerill, of Lockgate West, Windmill Hill, Runcorn, has been jailed following a Chester Crown Court sentencing

He appeared via videolink having pleaded guilty previously in magistrates’ court to attempting to incite a child aged 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity and attempting to engage a child in sexual communication

Philip Clemo, prosecuting, recounted how a volunteer with the paedophile hunter group Net Justice became involved with a conversation on March 11 with Pickerill via the Twoo social media website, where he was using the name “Paul55StokeOnTrent”.

They quickly switched to the encrypted chat app WhatsApp and the decoy – which was really an adult – told Pickerill she was 13.

Pickerill claimed he was younger than he really was, and said he was 55.

When he asked if she’d had her first period and she replied “yeah”, he said she “was a young woman now and ready for sex”, adding they could keep it a secret and use condoms and the morning-after pill.

Over a spell of nearly three weeks until March 30, cyber creep Pickerill made various sexual suggestions to the fake girl, and sent her pictures of his car and of him with his dog, plus indecent pictures of himself and a video clip of him performing a sex act on himself.

Pickerill, who asked for pictures of the “girl” and asked her to perform a sex act on herself, also referred to waiting for her “grandmother” to fall asleep, so he could “slip into her bed while she was asleep”.

When the “girl” told him she was a child, he retorted “you won’t be when we have sex”, adding “don’t worry, I’ll be gentle”.

Net Justice held an intervention and Pickerill was arrested.

He made no comment during his interview with Cheshire police.

Pickerill had three non-relevant convictions for four offences from the 1970s and had never spent time behind bars before being remanded into custody to await sentencing.

Judge Michael Leeming, presiding, cast doubt on Pickerill’s supposed remorse, noting how he sought to “minimise” his behaviour during his pre-sentence report probation interview.

Placing the cyber pervert on the sex offenders register for 10 years alongside a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, the judge said the offences were too serious for a suspended sentence, and sentenced Pickerill to one year and eight months in prison to be served immediately

Sending him down, Judge Leeming said: “You didn’t seek to hide the fact you were far older than she was.
“You lied about your age, you told her you were 55 – you were 65.”

He added: “It’s clear you sought to minimise your behaviour throughout the probation officer’s report, telling her you had done nothing wrong and were only conversing through boredom and isolation., and had only pleaded guilty on legal advice.”

Pickerill will also have to pay a victim surcharge.