September 2022

Pervert tried to meet girl, 13, at Clarks Village to abuse her

A pervert who went to Clarks Village expecting to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex was confronted by members of two paedophile hunting groups called UK database & Totnes Justice

Christopher Bishop, 56, was caught after grooming what turned out to be a decoy account on Facebook. The decoy was from a online team called STOP

He chatted to the ‘girl’ called Dani online believing she was real and arranged to meet her at the shopping centre in his hometown of Street.

He was fully aware of her age but persisted in sex chat and told her not to tell anyone.

When he was caught he immediately confessed, saying ‘I need help’. Bishop, of The Whithys, has been jailed for two years and two months at Taunton Crown Court.

The court was told the offending started in June 2020 when Bishop started to message the girl not knowing she was really an adult woman.

The girl’s account clearly stated she was born in 2007 and she made it clear she was just 13 within minutes of contact starting.

Bishop, who said he was 32, also attempted to call the child and speak on the phone.

He also requested she keep his contact a secret, delete messages and asked if she would like to have him as her boyfriend.

Bishop also used WhatsApp to keep up the chat which became increasingly sexual.

There was clear evidence of Bishop being aroused during the calls in which he encouraged the girl to engage in sexual behaviour.

On July 12 he arranged to meet the child but instead found a paedophile hunting group waiting for him. When police arrived he said: “I need help for what I’ve done.” He said he felt embarrassed and dirty.

The defendant admitted attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual communication and attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

Judge Paul Cook said the case had elements of planning and grooming. Bishop arranged a rendezvous and would have carried out the offence if the child had existed.

He said the offence was too serious to suspend the sentence and Bishop had to go straight to jail.