June 2022

Easington pervert caged after sending sexual messages to what he thought was an 11-year-old girl

A paedophile who believed he was sending sexual messages and pictures of himself to an 11-year-old girl has been caged.

Tony Martin Jon Small thought he was sending highly sexual messages to a child on a social media app, but he was in fact speaking to a decoy which had been set up by paedophile hunters.

The 40-year-old was in breach of a sexual harm prevention order at the time of the offence after being convicted of sexual offences in Portsmouth in 2018.

On Wednesday, Small appeared at Durham Crown Court to be sentenced for attempting to incite a female child to engage in sexual activity and one charge of breaching a sexual harm prevention order.

Both offences were committed between March 24 and 27. He pleaded guilty to both charges at a previous hearing.

Robin Patton, prosecuting, said Small began chatting to what he believed was an 11-year-old girl on a social media app called Wink.

But the girl was in fact a decoy set up by an adult from a group called Fighting for Innocents. He said Small’s messages were “highly sexualised, grooming messages” and “asked about her clothing and what she was wearing”.

“He told the girl that she looked very sexy and chose to send pictures of himself without a shirt on”, Mr Patton said. Small said he “promised to teach the girl about sex” and “described sexual acts he wanted to perform”.

Small then sent an explicit picture of himself to the decoy as well as a video.

Mr Patton said Small was caught after he turned up to a meeting in Peterlee to what he believed would be an adult woman wanting sex – but instead, on March 28, he was arrested.

Sentencing Small, of Devace House, Easington Village, Judge James Adkin, the Recorder of Durham, said he had been sending sexual chats to the decoy over a period of three days.

He jailed Small for three years and put him on the sex offender’s register for life. His sexual harm prevention order remains in place