May 2022

Hereford sex offender sentenced after paedophile hunter sting

A pervert was caught in a paedophile hunter sting when he sent sexual messages to a hunter posing as an underage girl on Facebook.

Nicholas Gwilliam appeared before magistrates in Hereford for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to one count of attempting to sexually communicate with a child.

The 55-year-old had sent a friend request on Facebook to a member of a paedophile hunting group who was posing as a 14-year-old, prosecutor Eleanor Peart said.

They talked and despite being made fully aware that he was talking to a 14-year-old, Gwilliam initiated a sexual conversation, telling her he was far too old for her but then saying that her dad did not need to know they were talking.

The court heard Gwilliam had sent her pictures and asked her intimate questions.

He also asked her what she was wearing and if she liked sex, Miss Peart said.

Police were contacted and Gwilliam was arrested, initially telling police he had been hacked and did not know who the complainant was.

But he later changed his story, telling officers he did remember sending the messages but that he did not think there was anything wrong with sending them.

The court heard Gwilliam’s relationship has since broken down and that he has lost his job as a result of the offence.

Magistrates told Gwilliam, of Holm Oak Road, Belmont, that it was only due to his previous good character and guilty plea that he was not going to prison, and handed him a two-year community order with 150 hours of unpaid work and a requirement to carry out a sex offender programme and a five-year sexual harm prevention order.

He must also sign the sex offenders register and pay costs of £185 and a £95 victim surcharge.