April 2019

‘Dangerous’ sex offender sent back to prison after attempting to meet ‘girl’ for sex in Sheffield

A ‘dangerous’ sex offender from Sheffield who attempted to meet an individual he believed to be a 14-year-old girl for sex has been sent back to prison for over two years. 

41-year-old Earl Whyman committed his most recent set of offences between June and July last year, after initiating contact on the SayHi chat app with someone he believed to be a 14-year-old girl called ‘Ellie’. 

Louise Gallagher, prosecuting, told the court that the profile was being operated by members of an online ‘paedophile hunter’ group who seek to bring paedophiles to justice. 

Whyman, of Mount Road, Highfield exchanged telephone numbers with the decoy, and they began speaking privately over WhatsApp. 

“The defendant was obviously concerned that he might be communicating with an adult decoy, rather than a child,” said Ms Gallagher, adding that Whyman told ‘Ellie’ he believed her account was fake and that she was trying to ‘set’ him up. 

Ms Gallagher says Whyman subsequently had a phone conversation with one of the people operating the decoy account, which appeared to quell his suspicions. 

“The messages continued, and quickly became sexual…he asked when she was going to run away from home and move in with him so they could live like boyfriend and girlfriend,” said Ms Gallagher. 

Whyman and the decoy arranged to meet at Meadowhall on July 6 last year, but Whyman subsequently cancelled due to family problems. 

“The decoy and her associate decided to take things into their own hands and attended at his address on July 8 and confronted him. The police were contacted and the defendant was arrested,” said Ms Gallagher

Whyman’s electronic devices were taken for analysis, and police found four videos classed as ‘extreme pornography’ which involved beastiality.  

The court was told Whyman’s criminal record dates back to 1994 and includes convictions for a variety of sex offences.

Most significantly, in 2009 he was sentenced to three years in prison for inciting a girl under 16 to engage in sexual activity and was also given an extended license period of three years after being deemed to be ‘dangerous’. 

He was also made the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order, the purpose of which was to try and prevent Whyman from committing further sexual crimes by imposing a strict set of conditions on his use of the internet and the contact he is allowed to have with children. Whyman breached this order in 2011. 

Whyman pleaded guilty to offences of attempting to meet a child under 16 after grooming; attempting to breach a sexual harm prevention order and possession of extreme pornography. 

The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Jeremy Richardson, jailed Whyman for 28 months, but warned online ‘vigilante’ groups to ‘leave it to the professionals’. 

“I know, well it’s to be hoped, that they [the vigilante groups] mean well but these things are much better left to the police, Crown Prosecution Service and the courts,” said Judge Richardson. 

Judge Richardson said he believed Whyman to be ‘dangerous’ but did not believe he met the criteria necessary to impose an extended license period when considering the set of offences he was dealing with him for. 

He said: “There are dangers about you, but within the context of this case, I don’t think I would be justified in making you a dangerous offender with all of the ramifications involved. The public are still protected because I’m making an indefinite sexual harm prevention order with tight conditions.”

September 2009

Child sex beast jailed

A convicted paedophile who sexually assaulted two girls when he was 16 struck again 15 years later after grooming an 11-year-old.

Earl Whyman, aged 31, prepped the girl for three months after helping to set up her family’s new laptop in December last year.

Sheffield Crown Court heard he called her ‘sexy’ and a ‘sexy chick’, and made sexual suggestions in a series of emails which constituted a build-up of a sexual intention. He also asked her to be his ‘girlfriend’ and said he loved her.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Martin said on March 29 he asked the girl and an eight-year-old friend to visit his house on Spring Drive, Norfolk Park, and sexually assaulted her while the younger girl was downstairs.

The court heard Whyman had two previous convictions for assaulting two 10-year-old girls during a three month period in 1994 when he was 16. He was sentenced to two years’ probation for those offences.

Ms Martin said the day after the incident in March this year, the girl told a child protection officer at her school and Whyman was arrested.

He told police his comments to the girl were platonic and that calling her his girlfriend was a joke, she added.

He admitted they had gone upstairs together, but said she had tried to kiss him and he’d pushed her away.

Ms Martin said: “Police found ladies’ underwear under the bed including a pair of children’s knickers he said he found in the street.”

Whyman pleaded guilty to grooming, causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, and sexually assaulting a child.

Judge Michael Murphy QC said: “You were treating this girl as an adult. There’s no way she was agreeing to be your girlfriend. She is only a child.

“I’m heartened she was able to communicate with her teacher, it’s a tribute to the people in school that they intervened before it got worse. Heaven knows how emotionally scarred this girl is.”

He added: “You are at serious risk of causing serious harm in future offences.”

Whyman was jailed for three years, with a further three years on licence.

He was also disqualified from working with children for life and must stay on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Whyman was also made subject to two sexual offences orders banning him from having unsupervised contact with children and having them in his home.