January 2010

Experts fear internet seducer may groom other children

A PERVERT who escaped jail despite grooming a schoolgirl for sex has been branded a high-risk offender who is likely to strike again.

Secret documents reveal Paul Davies of Bellshill, Lanarkshire, had shown no remorse for his offences despite being placed on probation for three years earlier this month.

Davies, 19, tricked a 12-year-old girl’s parents into allowing her to travel from Wales to Scotland after meeting her on Bebo.

A social enquiry report, prepared for the court to assist in sentencing decisions, reveals how Davies has only accepted partial responsibility and is still considered at risk of committing the same crimes.

The report, which outlines his “troubled upbringing”, states: “Mr Davies’ actions and behaviour are highly concerning and the writer believes that he would be likely to commit such further offences.

“While he admits his guilt concerning the matters before the court, he accepted only in part responsibility for his actions, placing responsibility with his victim, as he stated she initiated the communication and many of the requests which he acquiesced to.

“He seemed unable or unwilling to explain why he had not stopped the process by saying no to the so-called requests from his victim.

“Mr Davies was able to acknowledge that his actions were stupid but did seem completely unable to grasp the seriousness of his situation.”

Claude Knights, director of child protection group Kidscape, said: “He remains a dangerous individual. It’s very concerning that the document highlights a high risk of re-offending and lack of understanding on Mr Davies’s part on the worrying aspects of his behaviour.

“How can we have remorse or change or recompense if there is very little understanding or likelihood of change? This leaves him as a potentially dangerous individual. He does seem to pose a danger to children.”

The leaked document also refers to occasions where the girl started to declare her love for him during their email and phone exchanges and states: “He did not appear to realise the inappropriateness of such exchanges, stating that they ‘were only talking as friends’.”

It went on: “He did not see the boundaries that should have been there between himself as an adult and his victim as a child.

“He does not appear to be aware of appropriate boundaries of behaviour between adults and children and seems to believe, or perhaps more accurately is trying to make others believe, he had no intention of having sexual intercourse with his victim.

“Even if this were the case, it is likely he was intending to meet her for some form of sexual gratification.”

A court must ask for a social enquiry report before giving anyone under 21 a custodial sentence and before jailing anyone 21 or over for the first time.

Davies and the girl chatted online and on the phone for months but the relationship turned sinister when they began to discuss sex. He sent the girl a photo of himself posing naked and hatched a scheme to meet the girl in his hometown of Bellshill, Lanarkshire.

She told her parents that she was going to Scotland on a camping trip and Davies, posing as a friend’s father, spoke to her mother to confirm the trip.

The plan was foiled when a teacher at the girl’s school overheard a conversation between the girl and a friend and raised the alarm.

At Hamilton Sheriff Court, Davies admitted a charge of intending to engage in unlawful sexual activity with a minor but Sheriff Thomas Millar spared him jail after his lawyer claimed he was “naive” and “immature”.

Davies was ordered not to use the internet unsupervised.