June 2022

Newbury man jailed for sexts with teenage girls

‘To think that someone could have done this to my young daughter is terrifying.’

Those were the words of a convicted paedophile who was jailed for trying to meet up with two teenage girls.

Ian De Melvin appeared before a judge earlier this week after he was caught arranging to meet up with the girls who were in fact undercover police.

Prosecuting, Jonathan Sank, said: “These two offences that the defendant stands to be sentenced for took place in October 2020 and June 2021.

The first offence relates to who the defendant believed to be a 13-year-old girl and the second to be for a 14-year-old girl.

“In October 2020 […] the defendant was instigating a conversation with ‘Mia’, who he thought was 13 years old.

“In this chat, he said he was 39 years old, which is 10 years younger than his age at the time. She said she was 13 years old and he said ‘I’m cool with that.'”

The prosecutor explained how over a number of days the conversation became sexual, asking her about her activities with a fictional previous boyfriend, before arranging to meet up in person and offering money to do so – however, De Melvin never showed up to the arranged meet-up place.

The prosecutor continued: “In June 2021, he started a chat with ‘Jay’, whose online profile indicated she was 19 years old, but in the conversation between them she told him she was aged 14 years. That was something she disclosed early in the conversation but this failed to deter him.”

Following a series of sexual conversations with the fictional teenager, he agreed to meet the ‘girl’ who gave her address as Newcastle, Scotland.

De Melvin, of Newtown Road, admitted two counts of attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child in a previous court appearance.

Defending, Philip Allman said: “He accepts what he has done. To say that this caused destruction in his life is an understatement.

“He tells me it was a deeply dark point in his life, and that he had no intent to meet up with young girls. It was the chat itself and the excitement which he got carried away with. the idea was always better than the reality.

“In his own words, ‘to think that someone could have done this to my young daughter is terrifying.”

Sentencing in Reading Crown Court, Judge Kirsty Real said: “You were contemplating penetrative sexual activity with a 13-year-old, and you got cold feet on both occasions. The offences are so serious only immediate custody is appropriate.”

De Melvin was sentenced to a combined total of six months’ imprisonment. He will have to serve half of this sentence before he is eligible for parole. He was also made subject to a seven-year-long sexual harm prevention order.

The 52-year-old appeared at Reading Crown Court on Tuesday, June 28.