June 2022

Launceston social media addict paedophile with erectile problems tells undercover cop how to masturbate

A pervert addicted to social media told what he thought was a 12-year-old girl how to masturbate – only to find he was talking to an undercover police officer.

Philip Murray, 57, also asked the ‘girl’ to send him indecent images.

Murray, of Launceston, appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentence having pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child, attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity and getting a child to look at an image of sexual activity.

Prosecuting the case, Ed Bailey described how, over two weeks in October and November 2020, Murray was using a profile called Lanson Lad on an internet chatroom.

He began chatting to a police officer who was pretending to be a 12-year-old female called Paige.

Mr Bailey said: “She asked him how old he was and he said 56 and when she replied that she was 12 he said he thought she was older.”

The chat then moved to Skype and the two exchanged pictures. Mr Bailey added: “It started as general conversation but not long into the chat it became sexually explicit.

The defendant told Paige how to masturbate and continuously asked her for indecent images.

He told her to send a video of her masturbating.”

Murray also sent the profile two images of an erect penis – one which he claimed was his own even though it wasn’t as he was said to have erectile difficulties. A warrant was executed and devices seized.

In interview Murray made full admissions but said he had no desire to have sex with a child, saying it was a game in his head.

Sentencing Murray, Judge Anna Richardson outlined Murray’s offending and said that the warrant no doubt shocked Murray’s wife.

Judge Richardson said that Murray’s lack of previous convictions, his positive good character and work ethic and his remorse – coupled with the strong prospect of rehabilitation – meant that a sentence could be suspended.

The court heard how the offending stemmed from Murray’s social media addiction and that his wife remains supportive.

Murray was given a 16-month sentence, suspended for two years.

He must also complete a mental health treatment requirement, a rehabilitation activity requirement and a sex offenders’ treatment programme. Murray was also made subject of a sexual harm prevention order.