May 2021

Paedophile used library computers to find ‘Harry Potter erotica’

A paedophile used library computers to search for ‘Harry Potter erotica’ and ‘fetish sites’ which focused on children in their underwear.

Melissa Wilson, whose name was given in court listings as “Paul Wilson, also known as Melissa Wilson”, managed to bypass security systems at Liverpool Central Library and Toxteth Library, later confessing to the crimes in a letter from her alter ego, Dan Thompson.

After creating library accounts the 34-year-old would attend “almost every other day” and used a Russian search engine “associated with accessing illegal files”.

Liverpool Crown Court heard as well as looking up “Harry Potter erotica with a focus on Hermione Granger”, Wilson searched “children porn” and “young girls modelling underwear”.

In a letter from her alter ego she claimed she wanted to go back to prison because she felt ‘accepted for who she is and who she wants to be’.

Nick Cockrell, prosecuting, explained Wilson’s probation officer received the letter from Wilson’s alter ego, Dan Thompson, detailing how she had bypassed library security systems.

Mr Cockrell said: “Merseyside Police received information Miss Wilson had been using computers at Liverpool City Libraries and Toxteth Libraries.”

Mr Cockrell explained Wilson accessed the computers between July 10 and October 23 in 2019 on 86 days, “multiple times a week”.

Wilson went on Chatango, a chat forum which doesn’t require the user to register and on which “illegal images of children are shared”.

He explained the investigating officer went on the website during his investigation and a child sex abuse image “remained visible for 10 minutes before a moderator removed it”.

Wilson also used the Russian search engine Yandex which had been “associated with accessing illegal files”.

Mr Cockrell said there were times when Wilson would use the library computers to search for jobs but said there seemed to be a “lot more activity centring around the chat site Chatango”.

Judge David Swinnerton explained one site which was accessed was a “sort of children’s underwear fetish site” on which children between the ages of three and five were pictured in underwear.

The judge said they “can’t say the defendant viewed that particular image” but she did click on the link.

On June 14 Wilson had used Yandex to search “chubby school girls nude” but was prevented from viewing the results by the library system.

Mr Cockrell said on the Yandex search there was reference to a username “c**face” and 13 photographs of two young girls aged between three and five who were either in their pyjamas or topless.

On July 10 Wilson searched for “Harry Potter erotica with a focus on Hermione Granger”, “Lolicon”, which refers to an attraction to prepubescent girls, Mr Cockrell explained.

Wilson had also searched “15-year-old school girls”, “children porn”, “young girls flat chested” and “young girls modelling underwear”.

Mr Cockrell explained she had also used Facebook Messenger, ChatUSA and UKChat as well as a chat room designed specifically for teens, Alo Chat.

The court heard Wilson was charged for breaching her Sexual Harm Prevention Order in February 2021, which she later admitted in court.

Her first offence was in April 2008 for indecent images of children and was given a community order which she then breached twice in the same year and was jailed again having more indecent images of children.

Wilson then consistently breached court orders in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

In August 2015 she was jailed four years with an extended four years on licence for threats to kill, possession of prohibited images and breaching notification requirements.

In total Wilson had six previous convictions for 39 offences.

Judge Swinnerton, sentencing, said: “You have a lengthy and growing criminal record which revolves around your interest in indecent images of children and your repeated breaches of the orders which try to prevent you from accessing such images of children.”

The judge said: “Some of the search terms you were using revolved around what I would describe as fetish sites of children in their underwear.”

The judge added she “quite deliberately” accessed chatrooms despite a clause in the Sexual Harm Prevention Order which specified she could not.

Wilson was jailed for 32 months, although she will continue to serve a sentence after being recalled until June 23 2022.

She must sign the Sex Offenders Register for life and was ordered to adhere to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for life.