January 2023

Paedophile sent picture of his penis to ’13-year-old girl’

A paedophile sent an image of his penis to a girl he believed was 13-years-old.

Ben Mawby, 26, was convicted of two sexual offences at Wirral Magistrates’ Court on November 29, after being caught out by an undercover officer.

He was sentenced on Wednesday for one count of an adult attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child, and the second charge of trying to get a child aged between 13-15 years old to watch or look at sexual activity.

Martyn Walsh, prosecuting, told the court how an undercover police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl named “Elsie”, created a social media account on messaging platforms Kik and Snapchat.

On September 15, Mawby contacted the profile of “Elsie” and the pair shared long exchanges of messages, beginning with basic questions such as “where are you from?”.

The ‘girl’ said she was 13-years-old and from London, and fairly quickly Mawby asked her for pictures. Mr Walsh described Mawby as “fairly forthright in terms of wanting a picture”.

The 26-year-old sent an image of his exposed penis to the undercover police officer, in which his lounge could be seen clearly in the background. Communication between Mawby and the ‘girl’ took place from September 15 to November 18 2021.

Mawby, of Long Lane, Hindley Green, was arrested, interviewed and his phone was seized. 

In sentencing, Judge Garrett Byrne said the behaviour “would have been grooming”, had the child been real. He confirmed no attempts to ever meet up with the ‘girl’ were made by the defendant, but there were exchanges of sexual content.

He added: “I accept that this offending has cost you dearly. You have shown victim empathy and you have shown a high level of understanding.”

For the first charge, Judge Garrett sentenced Mawby to eight months imprisonment and for the second, two months imprisonment, both suspended for 18 months.

Mawby also has to undertake 35 days of rehabilitation activity, 80 hours of unpaid work in the community, and work with the accredited Horizon program for sexual offenders.

A sexual harm prevention order and notification requirements were implemeted for ten years.