October 2021

Colchester pervert hoped to meet and abuse 12-year-old

A pervert who discussed engaging in sex acts with a doll he pretended was a child hoped to meet and abuse a 12-year-old girl while her mother watched.

In an adult chatroom, Joseph Gamble, 42, chatted with a woman he knew as “Becky”, who was in truth an undercover police officer.

She pretended to be the mother of a 12-year-old girl named “Lizzie” and over the course of a number of conversations, Gamble spoke of his desire to engage in sex acts with the child while “Becky” watched.

Conversations took place during late May and early June 2019, first in the internet chatroom before progressing to Skype and telephone contact.

Sentencing at Chelmsford Crown Court, Judge Timothy Walker said: “You thought the person you were talking to was the mother of a 12-year-old girl.

“You sought sexual contact with that child, indeed you thought you were communicating with the child.

“You discussed engaging in sexual acts with a sex doll, you said you pretended that was a child.

“You then engaged in sexual conversation with the person you thought was the child, the 12-year-old.”

On arrest, Gamble, who has three convictions for three offences of an unrelated nature, was found to have two indecent images of children, at Category B and C, on his phone.

In interview, he said he believed “it was all a fantasy” on the part of “Becky” and denied he had any sexual interest in children.

After a trial, Gamble, of Parkside Quarter, Colchester, was convicted of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence, attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, publishing an obscene article and two counts of making an indecent image of a child.

He was sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment.

He will be subject to a sexual harm prevention order and will remain on the sex offender’s register for life.