April 2020

Paedophile, 63, tried to meet ’13-year-old girl’ he had groomed

A paedophile in his 60s tried to meet up with a ’13-year-old girl’ he had groomed in a McDonald’s car park.

Peter Seymour, 63, had no previous convictions, but was remanded in Forest Bank prison following a sting by an undercover police officer.

He had been sending ‘obscene’ sexual messages to a person he thought was a teenage girl. He planned to meet the girl in McDonald’s car park in a Manchester retail park.

Seymour, from Salford, had also sent explicit images.

An examination of his phone discovered he had been speaking to three other online users who appeared to be children.

Prosecutors could not trace the online profiles, so could not say whether they were children or not.

Manchester Crown Court heard that in November last year, Seymour was chatting online with an account user, who said she was a 13-year-old girl, but was actually an undercover police officer.

Prosecuting, David Toal said Seymour soon made the chat sexual, and asked the ‘girl’: “Do you not mind older men?”

When the girl suggested they chatted on a different online chat room, Seymour declined and said it was ‘not safe’.

Mr Toal said this ‘demonstrated a degree of knowledge and experience’ of chat rooms, and of ‘what was best to avoid detection’.

Later, Seymour arranged a meeting at the McDonald’s car park.

Police arrested him when he arrive.

An iPhone found in the car was examined. It contained more incriminating evidence.

He had been speaking with three online profiles, with one telling Seymour they were an 11-year-old girl, and another saying they were a 14-year-old girl.

Seymour told one user he was a ‘friend of her mum’s’, that he was a ‘nice guy’ and that ‘she could trust him’.

He turned the chat sexual, but after one obscene message, the user stopped replying.

Two other accounts didn’t reply after Seymour sent sexually explicit messages.

Seymour’s lawyer said his wife of 40 years had noticed a change in his personality – and that he became ‘lost’ after losing his job.

Seymour pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a child following grooming; attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act; and attempted communication with a child in relation to the offences involving the undercover officer.

He admitted a further three counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child; and two counts of attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act in relation to discoveries on his phone.

Seymour, of Manchester Road, Swinton, also admitted being in possession of an extreme pornographic image; and two category C indecent images of children.

He has been on remand at Forest Bank prison since November.

Sentencing, Judge Elizabeth Nicholls said: “These offences cause enormous concern to society as a whole, and concern to the court as they show a systematic course of conduct.

“You were willing to meet a 13-year-old child, with what can only be the sole purpose of sexual activity.”

The judge passed a three year community order, for Seymour to complete the Horizon sex offender program, saying that rehabilitation and continued supervision would provide the ‘maximum safeguarding for young children’.

The judge told Seymour: “It is not an easy option.

“The programme is difficult, it is challenging, it is demanding, and it will make you face up to the dark issues that led you to commit these offences.”

A sexual harm prevention order was also imposed.