August 2021

Married paedophile bought lingerie and sex toy for schoolgirl he groomed

Nicholas Turpin

A paedophile groomed and sexually abused a young girl he had met through social media, a court has heard.

Nicholas Turpin made numerous trips from his home north of London for sex with the 13-year-old Welsh girl – on one occasion taking the child shopping to buy lingerie and a sex toy.

The abusive relationship came to an end when the girl discovered Turpin – who was aged around 30 – was a married man.

Swansea Crown Court heard the offending took place in the early 2000s but it was only in recent years that the victim felt able to go to the police and report what happened.

Turpin denied any wrongdoing right up to the day of his trial forcing his victim to prepare herself for the ordeal of seeing him in the dock and of being cross-examined.

Ian Wright, prosecuting, said Turpin and the girl met online after the defendant made contact with her profile on the then-popular site Faceparty.

The court heard Turpin called himself Nick the Chef on the site and claimed to be 26, which was several years younger than his actual age. The girl he was talking to made it clear she was 13 but the pair continued to communicate – initially on the site and then via text messages.

Over the following months Turpin made numerous visits to Swansea and Neath Port Talbot and would meet the girl for sex in local hotels.

During one trip he took her to Debenhams to buy lingerie and then to an Ann Summers shop to buy a sex toy which he subsequently used on her. On another visit to Wales he drove the girl to a secluded layby in the Swansea Valley where they performed oral sex on each other.

The court heard 49-year-old Turpin later had a tattoo inked on his arm using a design created by the girl in her school art class – an act which the teenager took to be a sign of his love for her.

The prosecutor said the girl ended the relationship when she found out Turpin was a married man. She subsequently confided in her mother about what had happened but asked her mum not to tell the police

Mr Wright said it wasn’t until 2019 that the victim reported the abuse. By then the history of messages between the pair had been lost but the woman was able to remember Turpin’s email address and from that police were eventually able to track the defendant down.

Turpin gave officers a prepared statement denying any sexual activity then answered “no comment” to all further questions.

The 49-year-old was asked to show his arm so officers could check for the distinctive tattoo but he refused.

An identification procedure was subsequently held and the victim picked out the defendant.

Nicholas Victor Turpin, of Radburn Close, Harlow, Essex, admitted two counts of indecency with a child.

Mr Wright told the court there were no charges in relation to the occasions Turpin and the child had had full sex as the offence in place at the time – unlawful sexual intercourse – had a time limit on bringing prosecutions.

The court heard that just a matter of months before he began to groom his young Welsh victim the defendant had been sentenced at St Albans Crown Court in Hertfordshire for possession of indecent images.

In an impact statement from the victim which was read to the court by the prosecutor she said that following the relationship she became withdrawn from family and friends and had initially felt like a “home-wrecker” because Turpin was married.

She said looking back on what happened she could see that she had been groomed by an older man who had taken advantage of naivete and she added that the prospect of facing her abuser across the courtroom at trial had filled her with dread.

Judge Catherine Richards told Turpin the offending was well-planned and said he had “used and manipulated” his victim’s immaturity. She said it was clear the defendant’s life had moved on since the offending but the matter was so serious only immediate custody was appropriate.

Giving the defendant a 10% discount for his guilty pleas and following the sentencing guidelines the judge sentenced him to five years in prison.

He will serve up to half that period in custody before being released on licence.

Turpin was made the subject of a 15-year sexual harm prevent order to control his contact with young girls and will be a registered sex offender for the rest of his life.