Guernsey Press

Man thought he was in sex chat online with under-age girls

Paedophile hunters caught a man who talked about sex online with girls that he believed to be between the ages of 12 and 15.

Last updated

James David Wilson, 36, who appeared in the Royal Court from custody, admitted six counts of sending messages of an indecent nature via the telecommunications network.

Wilson, originally from the UK, was working at the shop in Herm at the time of his offending.

Crown Advocate Chris Dunford told the court that in August last year police were made aware that the defendant had been using social media platforms to communicate with members of a group which tracks down paedophiles by using decoy profiles claiming to be children.

There were six profiles in all.

In some cases, the person posting the decoy profiles attached photos of themselves which had been edited to make them look the ages of those they were purporting to be.

Wilson would engage in conversation before using extremely graphic sexual language and saying he wanted to meet them.

Advocate Dunford said the defendant would provoke adult conversation but then apologise for upsetting them.

Some messaging extended to hundreds of pages.

In interview following his arrest, he said he would look at profiles on social media platforms and randomly select one.

He said he did not take it seriously and had a notion that the first ‘girl’ had been older than she claimed.

Wilson said he did not think they were real people and that it had become a game. He was depressed, which led to more reckless behaviour and risk taking.

Advocate Chris Green, defending Wilson, said his client had wasted nobody’s time before admitting his guilt.

All six decoy profiles had been posted by adults and therefore, as a matter of fact, no children had been involved.

It was accepted, though, that the court would sentence on the prosecution case that his client thought he was communicating with young girls.

Wilson had no previous convictions.

It was argued he had been frank and open in interview with police, the bulk of the offending had taken place in a relatively short period in July and August last year, he had been feeling depressed at the time and had poor social connections.

He was not eligible to return to Herm or to reside in Guernsey.

Judge Catherine Fooks said the defendant had offended over a prolonged period with multiple people.

He denied he had ever intended to meet with any of the ‘girls’ but the Probation Service believed he was seeking sexual gratification.

‘The court deplores this behaviour, real children or not, which is the product of a warped mind,’ she said.

Probation advised that Wilson required treatment before he could be managed in the community and therefore a custodial sentence was inevitable.

He was sentenced to 11 months in prison, concurrent for each offence.

His mobile phone will be destroyed and he will be subject to notification requirements for five years.

A probation order was put in place for two years.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.