July 2021

Man going to meet ‘underage girl’ did internet searches for date rape drug GHB

A man who attempted to lure who he thought was a 14-year-old girl to Swansea on the train was intercepted by a paedophile hunters group when he went to meet her.

Paul Leslie Lewis began messaging the profile purporting to be the teenager on Facebook messenger in May this year. It was actually a decoy profile being run by a paedophile hunter group called Black Flag Hunters.

Lewis began sending messages from a profile called ‘Paul Rio’ asking how old the girl was. She replied that she was “only 14” and he made out he was 28 – despite actually being 56. He told her he was from Swansea, and she replied that she was from Blackburn but had a grandmother who lived in Cardiff.

He told her that he worked for famous rock bands, and sent her a black and white picture of Queen along with others, including himself with a guitar and said it was himself performing.

He turned the conversation to meeting up, and the decoy said “they had never met someone from the internet”, and Lewis encouraged her to “try different things”.

The decoy made out that it was their 15th birthday soon, and it was later discovered that Lewis had taken particular interest in this, marking the date down in his diary.

He told her “it was a shame she would not be in Swansea as he would have bought her a birthday treat.”

During the course of the conversation he also offered to “teach her how to kiss properly” and told her it would be done respectfully.

He also told her he wanted to hold her and cuddle her. He also told her that she should keep quiet about talking to him until she was 16.

Things began to escalate when the decoy made out she planned to visit her grandmother in Cardiff.

Lewis began calling her his “beautiful sexy girlfriend babe” and pushed for them to meet up, offering to pick her up from Cardiff, but she said she would get on the train as she needed to get back to her gran’s house.

He also offered to buy her swimwear.

They arranged a meet on Saturday, May 22, and Lewis had sent the decoy a picture of himself so she would recognise him.

But when he arrived, he was instead met by the paedophile hunter group along High Street as he made his way towards the train station.

He was subsequently arrested by police who had also been notified over the plans for the meet-up. Lewis told officers: “I knew you would need to speak to me.”

His home was searched and they found the diary with the decoy’s 15th birthday marked down on it, and they also found an internet browser search for GHB, commonly referred to as a date-rape drug.

He provided a no comment interview at the police station and was charged.

Lewis, of Somerset Place, Maritime Quarter, Swansea, appeared at Swansea Crown Court for sentencing having admitted charges of being an adult meeting a girl under the age of 16 following grooming and attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, a separate offence relating to another decoy which was run by a different paedophile hunter group called Fleetwood Enforcers.

Judge Huw Rees sentenced Lewis to 12 months in prison.