May 2023

Sex predator sentenced after grooming young girls 

A sexual predator that targeted three young girls for sex by grooming them has been jailed 

Mark John Anthony Wardle, 59 of Plymouth appeared at Plymouth Crown Court where he was convicted of a series of sexual offences against children.

The court was told that unemployed Wardle had groomed four young girls aged between ten and 13 years old.

Wardle contacted the girls online by using apps: Snapchat and KIK where he posed as a child to gain their trust. Once the trust was built up, twisted Wardle instructed the girls to perform various degrading sexual acts.

One perverted demand made by Wardle was for several of the girls to insert sharpies and pens inside their privates.

On another occasion he visited the house of a family member whose 10-year-old daughter he also targeted. He followed the young girl into the shower and took indecent photos and videoed her naked whilst she washed herself. 

The court heard that the offences began in 2000 and continued over a number of years.

The 10-year-old family member who was exploited eventually spoke out and the police were contacted. 

Wardle was interviewed and showed absolutely no remorse for actions.

When police seized his computer, two external hard drives and his phone, they found the sexually explicit chat messages he had sent along with almost 50,000 child sexual abuse images covering all levels of indecency and ages

Wardle admitted he collected the images as he gained a sexual gratification from viewing them. 

On a number of occasions in court, Wardle addressed one of the brave victims who is now 18 and told her he was sorry. 

The judge sentenced Wardle to six & 1/2 years imprisonment and told him that he must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

A sexual harm prevention order was also imposed for an indefinite period.