July 2021

Christchurch man jailed after being caught in paedophile hunter sting

A man has been jailed for nearly five years after encouraging a fictional 12-year-old girl to abuse her seven-year-old sister.

Andrew Gidley (29), of Dairy Close, sent crude messages to what was, in reality, an adult member of a paedophile hunter group, Bournemouth Crown Court heard.

Sending him down, Judge Robert Pawson said Gidley had “taken leave of his senses” during the offending period between March and August 2019.

Prosecutor Peter Wright said the defendant initiated the chat over a social networking site before it transferred on to the Kik message app.

He engaged with what he thought was a 12-year-old girl called Mollie Spencer who was, in fact, a fake profile created to catch paedophiles.

Gidley’s conversation “quickly turned sexual”, Mr Wright said, and he sent her pictures of himself and his genitalia as well as a video of an adult woman performing a sex act on him.

The defendant went on to encourage the child to perform sex acts on herself.

By the end of their chat he moved on to telling the fictional girl to perform sex acts on her younger sister while she was asleep.

But on 16th August he was confronted on his doorstep by members of the paedophile hunter group.

He was arrested and confessed to his offending when interviewed by police.

He appeared at court having admitted three charges: two of attempting to incite a girl under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity and another of engaging in sexual communication with a child.

Judge Pawson noted Gidley had told probation his motivations in committing the offence were not sexual – which the judge said was “nonsense”.

Gidley had been assessed as low risk and committed the offences at a time when his life was “drifting”, the judge said, but it involved the “corruption of a younger sibling”.

He sent Gidley down for four years and eight months, ordered he sign the sex offenders’ register for life, and gave him a 15-year sexual harm prevention order.