June 2021

Grangemouth paedophile who groomed ’13-year-old girl’ caught out by decoy operation

An offender who thought he was going to meet up with a 14-year-old girl at a Falkirk train station for the purposes of sex got a rude awakening when police were there waiting for him.

David Russell (41), 217 Oxgang Road, Grangemouth, had been caught in an online decoy operation and realised he had not been talking to a 13-year-old or 14-year-old girl, but a grown adult during his multiple online sessions which stretched over a number of days.

Russell appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday having been found guilty of attempting to communicate in a sexual manner with a person he believed to be 13-years-old for the purposes of sexual gratification between August 27 and September 10, 2018.

He was also found to have made arrangements to meet up with someone he believed to be a 14-year-old girl with the intent to have sex with her at Grahamston Railway Station, Meeks Road, Falkirk on September 10, 2018.

The court heard Russell, who was said to live a “relatively solitary life” and was a medium risk of re-offending, claimed there had been some level of entrapment involved in the case.

Sheriff Derek Livingston, who noted Russell seemed to be in denial over the offences, said: “With considerable hesitation I’m not going to impose a custodial sentence today. You have kept out of trouble for the last three years and it does appear this was out of character for you.”

Russell, whose name was added to the sex offenders register for five years, was placed on a supervised community payback order for three years with a conduct requirement he have no contact with anyone under the age of 16 without an adult being present and was to stay away from places like play parks and schools where children gather.

He was also banned from any devices that can access the internet and disguise search history.

Sheriff Livingston also ordered Russell to complete 240 hours unpaid work within 12 months and placed him on a restriction of liberty order, meaning he must remain in his home between 7pm and 7am for the next six months.