May 2021

Preston paedophile pensioner was stung by online group at train station as he tried to meet 14-year-old boy

A paedophile pensioner used graphic and disgusting language towards a child as he urged him to meet him for sexual activity.

Michael Gleeson, 71, of St Clares Avenue, Fulwood, Preston, admitted attempting to meet a child following grooming to commit a sexual offence against him.

Preston Crown Court heard at around 6.45pm on October 3, 2019, members of a group called Elite Predator Interceptors confronted him at Preston Railway Station, where he had arranged to meet the child, and held him there until Lancashire Police attended.

Footage of the confrontation was published on social media in which he tries to get away by telling the group he is wearing a colostomy bag and confesses he was intending to met the child.

Sarah Johnston, prosecuting, said the decoy had posed as a Ukrainian boy called Ivor on an online dating app, and was contacted by Gleeson, who told him he wanted to “take his virginity”.

Gleeson told the boy he was “100% discreet” before giving graphic descriptions of what he would like to do with him and sending explicit images of his genitals.

He asked for the boy to correspond with him on an email address which was later linked to him.

Their conversation progressed to Gleeson arranging to meet the boy, pick him up in his car and take him back to his Preston home.

He told him: “Just be careful. Meet people who are discrete and private ok?” and “Noone will ever know about this, it will be secret.”

In an interview he answered no comment.

Andrea Lock, defending, said he was in poor health and was awaiting surgery to have part of his colon and rectum removed.

Judge Simon Medland QC said he would suspend his two year jail term for a year on account of his poor health, age, 12 month delay in charging him, and “fall from grace”, but imposed a sexual harm prevention order and ordered him to sign the Sex Offender’s register for 10 years.

He said: “The language you used and the things you spoke about, accompanied by photographs, were all completely disgusting and unacceptable.

“To say you have fallen from grace is poetic and accurate.”

He said the probation service had assessed him as a 4% chance of reoffending at all and a 0.64% of offending in a sexual way.