February 2018

Woman pretended to be a 12-year-old girl to catch paedophile who used social media for grooming

A woman who works with victims of abuse snared a paedophile when she went undercover to expose the repeat child groomer by pretending she was a 12-year-old girl.

The unnamed woman caught Giovanni Abbondandolo by pretending to be a child until she passed details onto police in November last year.

Over a three-week period the 45-year-old sent lurid messages and adult porn to the decoy child and planned to meet the girl for sex at Manchester’s Piccadilly train station.

Ten years previously, in 2007, Abbondandolo, from Rochdale, was caged after a mother saw him performing a sex act via webcam on her daughter’s computer.

Abbondandolo was jailed for six years eight months at Manchester Crown Court after he admitted attempting to engage in sexual act in the presence of a child and attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

The woman told the Manchester Evening News: “I work with children who have been victims of sexual abuse. I kept seeing all these stories about people confronting alleged offenders and thought to myself ‘the situation can’t be this bad’. So I decided to find out.”

She told the newspaper that Abbondandolo quickly began to talk about sex: “He asked if I had a boyfriend and if I wanted to be kissed, and if I wanted to be ‘naughty’ and chat about sex.”

Abbondandolo, who was using social networks Qeep and Kik, told the woman that he was having sex with a 13-year-old girl

She added: “He said he wanted to meet a 12-year-old in a short skirt and heels, and said he would buy me clothes like that.”

In 2007 Abbondandolo was jailed for 15 months after Woolwich Crown Court heard he made contact with two children, a 13-year-old boy and his cousin, a 12-year-old girl.

He pretended to be 14 and convinced the girl to turn on a webcam where the mother spottted the pervert performing a sex act and took a photo and reported him to police.

Now Abbondandolo has been made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for an indefinite period, and placed on the Sexual Offenders Register indefinitely.

October 2007

Quick-thinking mum snapped paedophile

METROPOLITAN Police joined forces with colleagues in Greater Manchester Police to track down Heywood paedophile Giovanni Abbondandolo after the alarm was raised by a shocked mum, Woolwich Crown Court was told.

And they were helped by having a photo of the man, which the mother took on her mobile phone camera when a clear view of his face appeared on the family’s computer screen.

The court heard that Abbondandolo worked as a salesman for Norbain SD Ltd, of Green Lane, Heywood, whose website features CCTV systems provided to schools, colleges and nurseries around the UK.

A spokesman for the company confirmed that he had been employed at the firm’s Warrington offices but refused to comment further.

Lindsey Thompson, prosecuting, said Abbondandolo first made contact with the two children – a boy aged 13 and his cousin, a 12-year-old girl – on a website called Chatavenue on September 6, 2005. He pretended to be 14 and got the girl to turn on a webcam attached to the computer in a bedroom.

When she persuaded him to follow suit she realised he was much older than 14, and he said he was 28. The children spotted his internet name ‘Rob 19’ on the chatroom and told the boy’s mother, who crouched out of sight of the webcam while Abbondandolo started talking to the little girl, telling her: ‘Will you stand up and show me how short your skirt is?’

The court was told that when the mother realised Abbondandolo had started to play with himself on camera, she got the girl to look away as she jumped up and used her phone camera to snap his face on screen.

Police traced his Hotmail account to his home address last November and he was arrested on November 30. Police seized his computer and found about 50 images and a video clip of child porn, two of which were 44 still images of ‘level 1’ child pornography, one level 2 image, two images at level three and a two-minute video clip that showed two girls aged 12 or 13 engaged in sex acts.

Two of the images were at level four, the second most serious category of hardcore pornography. Abbondandolo admitted his crimes almost immediately.

Judge Charles Byers said he hoped the 15 month sentence would deter other paedophiles, but ordered an investigation into why Abbondandolo was not charged until March this year despite admitting the offences last November. Miss Thompson said prosecution blunders over the indictment meant that the case had been delayed.

Judge Charles Byers told Abbondandolo: “You deliberately exposed yourself on a webcam and to your eternal shame abused yourself while you were in communication with those children. “We cannot in this country or, I hope, in any other overlook anything which abuses children. “As the world of electronics widens, we must jealously protect those who are likely to be distressed by the actions of people like you.”

Abbondandolo was also made the subject of a sex offender’s order for five years, which prohibits him from working with children, working unsupervised in the presence of children or having a computer at home.