June 2021

Paedophile told undercover cop ‘age is just a number’ while grooming schoolgirl

A paedophile snared in an online sting told an undercover police officer posing as a 14-year-old girl that ‘age is just a number’.

John MacDonald believed he was chatting with a schoolgirl named Paige and bombarded her with ‘highly sexualised’ messages on the Kik app in July 2018.

The married 47-year-old described in explicit detail how they could have ‘fun’ together and tried to talk her into performing sex acts, Newcastle Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Emma Dowling said: ‘She said she was a virgin and one of his comments was “You want your first time to be memorable, that’s why you should do it with an older man, someone with more experience who can give you pleasure in different ways”.’

MacDonald, from Ancroft, Northumberland, was traced via his IP address.

He pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and making an indecent photograph of a child in relation to an image found on one of his devices.

Judge Paul Sloan QC jailed him for 26 months.

He said MacDonald’s messages were ‘highly sexualised’, telling him: ‘You told her age was just a number.’

MacDonald, who has a previous conviction in 2007 for distributing indecent images, was also made subject of a sexual harm prevention order and must sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.