July 2023

Pervert caught by paedophile hunting team

A pervert who thought he was talking to a 14-year-old boy via Facebook Messenger arranged to meet him at Blackburn train station so he could have sex with him and ‘make him a man’.

Peter Cumberland, of Bonsall Street, Blackburn, created a profile on Facebook in July 2021 and struck up a conversation with who he thought was a 14-year-old boy, when in reality it was a decoy.

Prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, Lisa Worsley said: “The ’14-year-old boy’ was an adult decoy from a group called ‘Travelling from Nottingham’ or ‘TFN’, who engages in conversation with suspected paedophiles and uses language that a 14-year-old would use as well as making reference to his parents.

“On July 22 2021, the decoy received a message from Cumberland asking for his school shoes, his trainers and his d***.

“The decoy said he was 14 and was still in school, to which Cumberland replied, ‘show me your trainers’ and asked for some photos.

“The decoy commented that he thought what he was saying was strange and asked Cumberland ‘do I know you?’.

“The defendant replied ‘no why?’, with the decoy saying ‘no reason, you could be anyone, and I’m not sending pictures to someone I haven’t seen’.”

Ms Worsley said the defendant then asked if he could buy the decoy’s trainers and asked if he would meet him at Blackburn train station and gave him his home address, of Bonsall Street.

The decoy then told him he couldn’t as his mother wouldn’t let him out, and asked how would he know Cumberland wasn’t a killer.

Ms Worsley said: “The defendant said he wasn’t a killer but was gay, and would prove it by kissing his feet and then making him gay. He said he would like to play with his penis and asked if the decoy was a virgin.”

The court then heard how Cumberland told the decoy he would like to have sex with him, and then asked if he wanted a photo of his private parts, before sending him one of him sitting on the toilet.

The conversation continued the following day and they arranged to meet at Blackburn station on July 25.

Ms Worsley added: “Cumberland said he would ‘make him a man’ and sent him photos of his house to reassure him he was telling the truth about where he lived.”

The decoy and a colleague arrived at Blackburn station and saw the defendant, approached him and asked him about his online activity.

They ushered him to an alleyway away from public view and called the police, before handing over documents to officers which detailed the conversations had online.

Cumberland was arrested and his mobile phone analysed, with officers able to download the conversations had with the decoy.

The 31-year-old, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to attempting to cause a child to look at a sexual image, attempting to engage a child in sexual activity, arranging the commission of a child sex offence and attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child.

Sentencing, Recorder Daniel Prowse said: “I am satisfied you would have engaged in sexual activity with him if it had actually been a 14-year-old boy, but I can’t suspend this sentence as it’s so serious that it can only be dealt with by way of a custodial sentence.”

Cumberland was jailed for 28 months, will have to sign the sex offender’s register for 10 years and was handed a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.