July 2023

Paedophile told 14-year-old girl: ‘You are only as young as you feel’

A 66-year-old man sent someone he believed to be a 14-year-old girl a series of sexually explicit messages and videos after contacting her on Facebook, a court has heard.

Paul Lennox encouraged the youngster to perform sex acts on herself, repeatedly asked her for photographs, and mentioned going to see her so.

In fact Lennox was conversing with a “decoy” social media profile which was being run by a so-called paedophile hunter group.

Sending Lennox to prison a judge said the defendant was in denial about his sexual interest in children. The defendant missed sentence being passed as he walked out of the videolink booth in the prison where he is being held halfway through the hearing.

Hannah George, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that in February this year Lennox began messaging the profile of a 14-year-old girl on Facebook.

He sent the profile a picture of himself, claimed he was aged 50, and called her a “very lovely young lady”.

The court heard the profile of the schoolgirl was actually a decoy account and when the decoy told Lennox she was 14 the defendant told her: “You are only as young as you feel.”

Over the following week Lennox sent the defendant a series of messages in which he talked about sex, asked the decoy about her sexual experience, and sent her detailed instructions on how to perform sex acts on herself.

He also sent her explicit videos showing adults having sex and made repeated requests for pictures of her. The court he also talked about taking the girl shopping and said he was planning to visit a friend in Essex – the county where the decoy said she lived – and that he would book a room in a Premier Inn hotel.

The prosecutor said the online exchanges were reported to the police and Lennox was arrested on February 26.

His reply to being cautioned was to ask for a cigarette. The defendant was interviewed the following day and answered “no comment” to all questions asked.

The defendant walked out of the prison videolink booth while the prosecutor was outlining the case against him and did not hear the remainder of the proceedings.

Paul Lennox, of Heathfield Court, Glynneath, Neath, had previously pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity when he appeared in the dock via videolink for sentencing.

He had failed to attend a number of previous sentencing hearings forcing the case to be adjourned.

Lennox 18 previous convictions for 61 offences including robbery.

At the time of the online offences he was subject to an eight-week suspended prison sentence for breaching a restraining order.