August 2022

Newport paedophile wanted to ‘live out erotic dream with boy’

A pervert who wanted to live out an “erotic dream with a 12-year-old boy” was duped by an undercover police operation.

Ross Wesgate, 40, from Newport, asked “James” to meet him in a hotel room for sex and encouraged him to “bunk off school”.

The defendant was arrested after messaging his “victim” by using his Facebook and Snapchat accounts in April, Owen Williams, prosecuting, said.

Wesgate, of Tom Mann Close, Newport, pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

Newport Crown Court heard how the defendant had two previous convictions for seven offences.

These were for making off without payment, theft and making a false representation.

He also has a caution for child abduction.

The judge, Recorder Carl Harrison, told Wesgate: “You were engaged in sexual communication with someone you thought was called James who was 12 years old.

“You first communicated through Facebook and later through Snapchat.

“You were in fact in communication with an undercover online operative.

“Within two days you had gone on to make comments of a sexual nature.”

Recorder Harrison added: “You told him you were 30 and you discussed meeting up in a hotel or that he could come to your house and that he would be collected by car.

“You discussed an erotic dream and how you would like to carry it out and would like to end it by making love to James.”

Wesgate was spared prison and sentenced to a three-year community order.

He must carry out 240 hours of unpaid work, attend 35 sessions of the Horizon sex offender programme and complete a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

The defendant will have to register as a sex offender for five years and was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for the same period.

Wesgate has to pay £740 prosecution costs and a £95 victim surcharge.