August 2023

Paedophile sent pornographic images to decoy he thought was 13-year-old girl

A paedophile sent pornographic images to who be believed to be a 13-year-old girl and said he wanted to meet up with her. He was in fact speaking to an undercover police officer.

Mark Appleby, 53, of Monmouth, made contact with a profile named “Maisie” on the Kik messenger service in November 2022. The decoy told the defendant she was 13-years-old but he continued chatting to her.

A sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on Tuesday heard Appleby sent sexually explicit images to Maisie and told her he wanted to have oral sex with her.

Prosecutor Paul Hewitt said the decoy told the defendant she lived in Southampton, and he told her he would come down to watch her play football and go shopping.

He went on to ask Maisie about her privates and wanted to spend the night with her in a hotel. The defendant also told her he would bring a sex toy, and spoke to her on the phone, which involved an undercover officer pretending to be a 13-year-old.

A number of dates were arranged for Appleby and Maisie to meet but in January this year, police attended the defendant’s house and found the mobile phone which had been used to message the decoy. He told police he had been engaging in a “fantasy” and he was not attracted to children

Appleby, of Cornwallis Way, Rockfield, pleaded not guilty to engaging in sexual communication with a child, causing/inciting a child to look at sexual activity, and attempting to facilitate/commission a child sex offence. He was found guilty by a jury following a trial in June.

Sentencing, Judge Daniel Williams said: “In a phone call you made it clear your intention was to meet up with her and engage in sexual activity. There was significant planning and a significant disparity in age.”

Appleby was sentenced to three years and six months imprisonment.

He was made subject to sex offender notification requirements indefinitely and a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for eight years.