August 2022

Pervert was trawling the internet to ask schoolgirls for sex within weeks of his release from prison

A Workington paedophile who was jailed in 2020 was trawling the internet to ask schoolgirls for sex within weeks of his release from prison.

The latest offending of 23-year-old Joshua Sibbald was exposed thanks to the work of two volunteer paedophile hunter groups who deployed decoys posing as girls aged 13 and 14, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

The defendant, of Salterbeck Drive, Workington, admitted eight counts of attempting to sexually communicate with a child and three of downloading child abuse images, including three classed as Category A, the most serious.

He also admitted breaching a sexual harm prevention order.

Gerard Rogerson, prosecuting, outlined how in February, after his release from an earlier three year sentence, Sibbald began going online, using two websites to make contact with people he believed were young girls, aged 13 and 14.

The profiles he clicked on featured photos of girls who were clearly around that age but they were decoys, set up by the citizen-run groups called Team Shade and Book of Exposure.

Describing one of those groups, Mr Rogerson said activist parents who are concerned about adults who sexually groom children online.

One activist, posing as a 14-yaer-old, later described being contacted by Sibbald on February 14. She clearly said that her age was 14, said Mr Rogerson, but Sibbald was not deterred.

The suggestion was immediately put by Mr Sibbald that they should meet up to have sexual intercourse and he was aroused by her.

She replied: Hey, Im 14; I cant do that. Sibbald had similar conversations with other decoys, despite them clearly stating their age as either 13 or 14.

The messages he sent to the girls ranged from discussing sexual matters to requesting that they send naked photos of themselves, said Mr Rogerson.

He also also discussed having intercourse with them, added the prosecutor.

Sibbald has been assessed as posing a “high risk of serious harm” to children.

Recorder Tony Hawks said that it was a matter of considerable regret that Sibbald was not given help to address his sexual interest in children while he served the custodial part of his three year jail term.

The judge imposed two years custody and said that Sibbald, who was recalled to prison to complete his earlier three year sentence for eight child sex offences, will be on the Sex Offender register for a decade.

July 2020

Workington man jailed over sexual relationship with schoolgirl

A Workington man who groomed a 14-year-old schoolgirl for sexual activity has been jailed.

Joshua Sibbald, 21, met the girl through Facebook and repeatedly met her for the purposes of sexual gratification, said a judge at Carlisle Crown Court.

The defendant, of Salterbeck Drive, Workington, admitted eight counts of sexual activity with a child.

Prosecutor Tim Evans outlined how Sibbald – who was 19 at the time – contacted the girl in September, 2018, and he knew from the outset that she was a child.

“There were sexualised messages which passed between them,” said the barrister.

This developed into a sexual relationship.

The offences came to light when the girl’s mother became concerned about her behaviour and accessed her phone.

She found messages from the girl to friends, discussing her “sex life.”

The defendant was referred to by a false name.

Judge Michael Hayton QC said there were elements of “grooming” and “blackmail” in the offences admitted by Sibbald.

“This was not a child-like infatuation,” said the judge, pointing out that the relationship was ‘heavily sexualised.”

The judge accepted it was not a case where a much older man had predated on a much younger girl but he noted that there had been an element of “controlling behaviour” from Sibbald, who threatened to kill himself if she left him.

The judge told the defendant: “In my judgement, the whole purpose of you making contact with her, and, more significantly, pursuing contact with her, was to further your sexual gratification needs.”

As well as imposing an immediate three year jail term, the judge imposed a five year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and the put Sibbald on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

Sibbald wept throughout much of the hearing.

Sibbald is a dangerous man who groomed his victim, and threatened to harm himself if his victim didn’t continue to see him. He was very manipulative and lied about knowing his victims age