January 2022

Whitehaven man must sign sex offenders’ register after paedo hunter sting

A West Cumbria man must sign the sex offenders’ register with immediate effect after admitting a raft of crimes against a person he thought was aged only 13.

William Beech, 51, faced a total of 13 charges when he appeared in front of a judge at Carlisle Crown Court.

During a short hearing, Beech pleaded guilty to 12 of those.

Three of the offences he admitted concern attempts to incite a child to engage in sexual activity. Four involve attempting to engage in sexual activity in the presence of a child; three are attempts to cause a child to watch a sexual act; one was attempting to communicate sexually with a child; and he also admitted making indecent category C photographs of a child.

Beech’s crimes were committed on a number of different days around the turn of November last year.

They are said to involve communication with a vigilante group decoy the defendant thought was a 13-year-old girl.

Judge Nicholas Barker adjourned the case and ordered the preparation of a probation service pre-sentence report which will give background on the defendant and his offending.

Beech is due to be sentenced at the crown court on February 4, and must sign the sex offenders’ register in the meantime.

“The precise duration of those requirements will be determined on that date,” said the judge.

Beech was granted bail on condition that he both lives at Hilton Terrace in Whitehaven, and has no unsupervised contact with any person aged under 18.