February 2022

Perverted pub landlord a serious danger to young girls

A former pub landlord from Derbyshire repeatedly told a 12-year-old girl he wanted to have sex with her.

Derby Crown Court heard how Paul Frith also made an arrangement to meet the youngster in Nottingham then pulled out and cancelled

But unbeknown to Paul Frith, Mercedes was really a self-styled paedophile hunter group Undercover and Exposed.

And when police arrested the 56-year-old and seized his devices they found sick child abuse images and movies on them.

Handing the defendant a 21-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, Recorder Martin Hurst said: “Until you got involved in this unacceptable behaviour you had not been in trouble with the police for a long time.

“You were working as a licensee and you were obviously lonely and isolated and took up an interest in indecent images of children.

“The description of them would revolt anyone and these are real children being abused in real time.

“But you took it further than that and began communicating with someone you thought was a child.

“It was really what is termed a paedophile hunter group which the court sees on a regular basis.

Your communication with them was disgusting and illegal and you arranged to meet which they would have been delighted to do and no doubt live stream it on Facebook.

“This was to a certain extent drunken fantasy.”

Victoria Rose, prosecuting, said Frith started talking to Mercedes in January 2019, telling her he was “Paul from Chesterfield who owned a pub there.

She said quickly he moved the conversation to sexual matters telling her he “wished she was 16 and legal” when she clearly told him she was “12 and from Scunthorpe”.

Miss Rose said: “The defendant repeatedly indicated he wished to have sex with her saying he wanted to take her virginity

The prosecutor said after he cancelled the arranged meet in Nottingham the group contacted the police who arrested Frith, of Main Street, Chesterfield. In fact Paul was trying to make out he was someone else from that pub also!

She said on his devices were the abuse images including the most serious category and there was also evidence he had distributed a small number of them.

Frith pleaded guilty to charges of possession of indecent images, distribution of indecent images and attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

As part of the suspended sentence he was ordered to attend 36 rehabilitation sessions and to pay £250 towards prosecution costs.

He will be on the sex offender register for 10 years and was handed a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.

Eddie Leonard, his barrister, said: “He left his rented accommodation because his name was in the public forum and he had been threatened.

“He has been residing in Derby but his parents live in Chesterfield. 

“He does not know if his licence (to run licensed premises) will be revoked or not.”

Frith has never worked at the Blue Bell pub and does not work at the social club either.