January 2023

Dangerous sex offender jailed after being exposed by paedophile hunters

A dangerous paedophile has been jailed after he was caught by a paedophile hunting group as he tried to make sexual contact with five under age girls.

Gary Chivers was already a registered sex offender when he moved to Devon last year from the Home Counties and discovered that a police monitoring device on his phone had stopped working.

He went into teen chat rooms and posed as boys or young adults despite being aged 71.

He used false profiles to approach girls as young as ten without realising they were decoys which had been created by paedophile hunters.

Chivers sent pictures of his genitals to several of the girls and asked one to respond by sending him an image of her touching herself.

He was trapped because a paedophile hunter posing as an 11-year-old girl called Isobel asked to send him a friendship ring and he responded with his actual address in Dawlish.

All the online contacts put him in breach of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which was made in 2015 when he was jailed for a series of similar offences and for downloading and distributing child abuse images.

Chivers, aged 71, of Redwood Court, Dawlish, admitted five counts of attempted sexual communications with a child, five of attempting to incite a child to sexual activity and five of breaching a sexual harm prevention order.

He was jailed for five years, six months with an 18 month extended licence by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court, who certified him as a dangerous offender.

He told him: ‘You committed offences relating to five different girls, three claiming to be under 13. The offences are aggravated by your previous convictions, one of which involved the incitement of a real under age girl.

‘Your activity seems have been bordering on a compulsion and was not restricted to one or two profiles.

There is a clear pattern of behaviour, whether or not you felt the need to reoffend since moving addresses and finding the monitoring app had ceased to work.’

Miss Mary McCarthy, prosecuting, said police were alerted by a self-styled paedophile hunting group which tracked Chivers down to his home in Dawlish and confronted him nearby.

Officers recovered chat logs which showed that in August last year Chivers had contacted the online profiles of five girls aged ten, 11, 12, 14, and 17 and started sexual conversations.

He claimed to be aged between 18 and 24 and used a string of fake profiles. He sent all the girls images of his penis and in most cases asked for pictures of their private parts in return.

He was subject to a sexual harm prevention order throughout which banned online contact with anyone he believed to be under 18.

The order also enabled police to monitor his online activity.