Middlesbrough pervert caught after sexual chats with ‘girl’, 13

A man made sexualised comments and tried to meet up with a 13-year-old girl in a series of online messages.

Joe Park did not realise the “girl” he had been speaking to was a decoy profile on a dating website set up by a member of an online vigilante organisation which targets paedophiles.

In more than three weeks worth of messages, the 33-year-old Middlesbrough man repeatedly referenced sexual intercourse and arranging a place to meet, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The messages between Park and the decoy profile began on January 23 and came to a head on February 15 when he arranged to meet what he thought was the 13-year-old but instead was met by members of the vigilante group and later arrested.

The court heard telephone numbers were exchanged after the first day of talking and the conversation moved over to WhatsApp.

Prosecutor Emma Atkinson said Park asked the girl to send him photos, videos and voice recordings of her “blowing a kiss” and to hear her “angelic voice”.

“He asked what she would like to do if they met someday; would she like to meet in public or would she like to go to his and watch a film,” said Ms Atkinson.

“As the days moved on he asked if he could call her, asked for more photographs, suggested he gave her a massage, and asked if she thought about him at school.

“He asked her for naked photos, he told her that he had sent photos before of his penis, and then he asked for a topless photo and that she was ok with it he would love to see her like that.”

The court heard Park gave the decoy account his address and made arrangements to meet the girl the next day.

But he was arrested on February 16 and later told police he “struggled with social situations and wasn’t confident” and that he “enjoyed the conversation but didn’t think that the content was inappropriate”.

Ms Atkinson added: “He denied the content was sexual and said that he wouldn’t do that, that he just wanted friendship, and when shown the messages he claimed to not remember sending them.”

Recorder Simon Kealey QC said: “The range of conversation and chat went from mundane matters but also requests by you to send photographs, not to tell anyone, but persistently asking her to meet, and that you wished for kissing and cuddling but then progressed to suggestions of penetrative sexual intercourse.”

Park, of St Barnabas Rd, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a girl under 16 following grooming.

received an 18 month suspended sentence. He must carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and complete a sex offenders programme.