Pervert tried to meet 12-year-old at the and told her to pose as his niece if they saw anyone they knew
Online predator Michael Hancock tried to meet a 12-year-old at the Metrocentre and told her to pose as his niece if they saw anyone they knew.
The paedophile, who has previously worked “with youths and in hospitals”, thought he was talking to a real child when he sent images of his genitals and turned the conversation sexual but, fortunately, it was actually an undercover police officer.
Newcastle Crown Court the officer had set up a profile online purporting to be an 18-year-old from Tyne and Wear, with which Hancock began to communicate in October 2021. He was soon told the girl was in fact 12 and he said he was 57.
The conversation quickly moved to Snapchat and turned sexual. Hancock sent a photograph of his legs in the bath and then his groin area. The profile replied with a message written on a child’s arm saying “show me” and Hancock sent images of his penis.
Ian Cook, prosecuting, said: “He said he would buy gifts for her and she should not let her family know about the conversation and he arranged to meet her at the Metrocentre. He said if they saw anyone they knew they should say they were uncle and niece.
“He said they should be careful because if he was caught he would be called a paedo.” He then went on to ask further intimate questions and discussed his sexual habits.
Mr Cook said: “He said he wanted to kiss her all night and hold her close. He arranged to meet her at the Metrocentre but was intercepted by police and arrested.”
Hancock, 59, of Edinburgh Road, Jarrow, pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and was sentenced to eight months suspended for two years with a four-month curfew.
He will also be subject to a sexual harm prevention order and will have to sign the sex offenders register for the next ten years.
Judge Julie Clemitson told him: “You believed that girl to be somewhat vulnerable and in the care system, yet rather than take actions any responsible adult would have done, which was immediately desist in talking to that child and even report the profile, you instead chose to continue to chat.
“You did so in a way which has the hallmarks of a predator, frankly. You slowly, over a period of time, gained that child’s trust by talking in a non-sexual way, offering to take her out and buy her gifts, then slowly but surely you introduced a sexual element to the conversation.
“You spoke about meeting at the Metrocentre and agreed a cover story should anyone ask who you were. You engaged in chat about various sexual practices and sent images of your penis to that, what you believed to be, 12-year-old child.
“It’s clear you have a sexual interest in young girls, however much you protest to the probation officer that you do not. Your behaviour was predatory.
“The seriousness of this kind of offending should not be underestimated. Just because there was not a real child doesn’t mean this kind of offending doesn’t lead to serious consequences. Children suffer day in and day out because of online paedophiles like yourself.”
You must be logged in to post a comment.