November 2008

Paedophile handed himself into police after discovering ‘girl’ of 15 was really man of 43

A PAEDOPHILE who thought he was arranging to meet a 15-year-old girl for sex was actually being lured into a £20,000 blackmail plot.

Timothy Havard, aged 48, of Ashfield Gardens, Latchford, thought he had been e-mailing a teenage girl called Gemma.

But in reality he was communicating with a 43-year-old man from Cambridge, who then threatened to go to police with Havard’s e-mails unless he paid him £20,000.

Warrington Crown Court heard that rather than give in to the demands, Havard handed himself in to police and confessed to his crime.

Prosecutor David Jones said of Havard’s actions: “It was a serious attempt at grooming a young girl.”

Havard had first met the ‘girl’ in an online chatroom, but soon changed to e-mail communication where the tone became sexual. Mr Jones said the nature of the e-mails sent by the ‘girl’ had been egging on Havard.

Havard said he had fantasised over young girls, adding: “I try not to think about it too much because it is wrong, I guess.”

As the e-mails continued he used his webcam to film himself performing an indecent act, believing the girl was watching.

He tried to arrange a meeting in Manchester and talked about taking ‘her’ away to a hotel.

The e-mail from the man, who claimed to be Gemma’s father, then arrived, asking Havard to pay £20,000 or he would go to the police.

In November last year, Havard turned himself in.

But despite the blackmail plot, the man from Cambridge was never charged as Havard would not press charges.

As well as charges of performing a sex act in front of a child and attempting to arrange a child sex offence, Havard pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images and videos of children.

Simon Berkson, representing Havard, said: “With great shame and great embarrassment it has caused divorce and caused him to see his own children under supervision.

“He has lost his job and has completely ruined his life.”

Sentencing him to 16 months in prison, Judge Thomas Teague said: “Your aim was to engage in sexual intercourse with a young girl of 15.

“They were attempts that could never have been carried through, for what it is worth. ”

Havard was also told to sign the sex offenders register, was banned from working with children and was given a sexual offences prevention order.