August 2023

Westcliff paedo spared jail for nasty messages to ’13-year-old girl’

A sex offender was snared by paedophile hunters after he discussed vile sex acts with a decoy account he believed was a 13-year-old girl.

Alan Haywood, 33, of Wenham Drive, Westcliff, began speaking to the profile on Facebook, which was controlled by an adult posing as a young girl.

When the user said she was 13, Haywood acknowledged that she was “far too young” but continued to engage in sexual communication.

Haywood was charged with attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and appeared in Basildon Crown Court on Friday to be sentenced.

Mitchell Cohen, prosecuting, said: “Between October 24 and November 23, 2022, Mr Haywood engaged in sexual conversation on Facebook messenger with a profile under the name ‘Evie’.

“The conversation started with Haywood thanking the profile for accepting the friend request, he asked her how old she was and she said 13.

“Haywood responded by saying ‘Oh, you’re far too young. This is wrong and illegal and I’m the one who will get in trouble for it.”

On October 25, Haywood contacted the profile again and asked if “Evie” was OK with the pair speaking about “naughty” things.

A while passed until Haywood contacted Evie again on November 23, he asked her what she was doing and Evie said she was running a bath. Haywood replied that he was “excited” by that.

Mr Cohen added: “Mr Haywood suggested that Evie should take a picture of herself naked and send it to him.

“The conversation ended and members of the group pretending to be Evie attended Haywood’s home and detained him until police arrived.

“He was then taken by officers to Southend Police Station and his property was searched.

“Haywood was interviewed but remained silent and refused to look at the chat log.”

Judge Samantha Cohen addressed Haywood before sentencing.

She said: “It was apparent from the content of your messages that you knew the age of the girl you were speaking to.”

Haywood was handed a three-year community order with a 40-day rehabilitation activity requirement and 100 hours of unpaid work.

He is also subject to a sexual harm prevention order and notification requirements.