December 2022

Heaton paedophile who had indecent images thought he was sending sexual chats to 10-year-old girl

A paedophile who was found in possession of vile child abuse images was also sending sexual messages to what he believed was a 10-year-old girl.

Razvan Valeriu Nastase began messaging what he believed was a child on social media and said he “wasn’t bothered” when he was told by the girl she was very young.

But what the 34-year-old pervert didn’t know, was that he was actually speaking to an “undercover operative” who was pretending to be a child.

When police went to Nastase’s home to arrest him, his electronic devices were seized and examined and over 880 images and videos of child sexual abuse were discovered.

This week, he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court to be sentenced for attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and three counts of making indecent images.

He had pleaded guilty to the charges, which dated back to October and July 2020.

The court heard that an “undercover operative” called Ken, created a fake account on social media pretending to be a 10-year-old girl and that Nastase, using the name of ‘Andre’, soon sent the decoy a message.

Rachael Glover, prosecuting, said: “The defendant’s message read: ‘Nice to meet you, you’re very cute, I like you.’ When the [decoy] said they were 10-years-old, the defendant said he was not bothered. The defendant continued the conversation and sent sexual messages to what he believed was a 10-year-old child.”

During the chats, Nastase, of Simonside Terrace, Heaton, claimed to be 16-years-old, and sent three images of himself, two of which he was topless in. In another message he told the decoy they were “so beautiful, I can’t get enough of you”.

He also said it would be “our little secret” as he continued to ask for pictures in return. The court was told that Nastase asked to see the decoy in a onesie and told her not to be shy.

Ms Glover said that when police identified Nastase, they went to his home and arrested him.

His room was then searched and devices were seized and examined by experts.

The court heard that 159 category A images, 130 of which were videos and depicted children as young as four, were found, alongside 162 category B images and 568 category C images.

In interview Nastase gave no comment.

Sentencing Nastase, Judge Amanda Rippon said: “You engaged in chat with what you thought was a 10-year-old girl. If it had been a little girl and not a person masquerading as one, the potential offending is difficult to contemplate given your interest in sexual activity with children as young as four. It is depraved and disgusting.”

Nastase was given a two year prison sentence, suspended for two years and must undertake 35 rehabilitation days and 150 hours unpaid work.

A 10 year sexual harm prevention order was imposed and he will be on the sex offender’s register for 10 years.