July 2018

Paedophile jailed after being caught in undercover police sting operation

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A persistent paedophile who was caught by an undercover police operation has been jailed for more than four years.

Ashley Colville made a series of sexual comments online to ‘Hannah’, who he believed to be an 11-year-old girl.

Colville told a jury he thought Hannah was a member of an anti-paedophile vigilante group, and he had played along to expose what he regarded as their tactics of entrapment. “The defendant has a significant record of sexual offending against children,” said Aisha Wadoodi, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court.

“As part of sentences for that offending he was made the subject of two orders restricting his internet use, and when at liberty, restricting his unsupervised contact with children. “

While living in a bail hostel, Colville used an internet enabled smart phone to enter a teenage chat room. 

“In the chat room he met Hannah, who was not a vigilante but an undercover police officer. “

Colville engaged Hannah in conversation which soon became sexual. “This continued despite her telling him she was not yet 12. “

Colville asked her if she had ‘done it’, and said he liked spanking during sex. “In summary, he engaged her in conversation, groomed her, quickly turning the conversation to sex.” Colville made no comment when interviewed by police.

“He later filed what we lawyers call a defence statement,” Ms Wadoodi told the jury. “In that, he says he knew Hannah was a vigilante, and played along with her with that in mind. “

The prosecution say it’s obvious from the content of the messages he thought he was dealing with an 11-year-old girl.”

Colville, 28, formerly of Cotswold Place, Peterlee, now of no fixed abode, denied breach of a sexual harm prevention order, and he denied engaging a child in sexual conversation.

He was convicted of both offences after a trial lasting three days.

Colville remains the subject of a lifelong order restricting his internet use, and banning him from unsupervised contact with children.

April 2015

Convicted paedophile contacted Teesside schoolgirl just days after release from jail

A paedophile who was freed from prison for only a few days when he contacted a Teesside schoolgirl on the Internet and asked her to meet him for sex has been jailed for five years.

Ashley Colville, 24, claimed he was only 18 when he spent a month building up a relationship with the 15 year old girl.

He had been banned from owning any means of using the Web when he completed a 40 months jail sentence for an open-air sex attack on a woman and downloading indecent photos of children.

But he smuggled a Smart phone into his South Bank bail hostel where it was found in a search of his room on May 15 last year.

Prosecuter Paul Cleasby told Teesside Crown Court analysis of the phone showed Colville had been in Internet contact with the girl and her 13-year-old friend days after his release on April 7 last year.

Police interviewed the elder girl on video and she said that she told him at the start that she was 15, and he gave her a false name and said that he was 18. They had normal conversations for a month and then his attitude changed.

Mr Cleasby said: “He asked her on 10 occasions for full sexual intercourse, and he asked her to meet him in Hartlepool and to wear a short skirt.

“She did not meet him, and instead she checked his Internet profile and she said that he was ugly and old.”

Police also traced the 13-year-old but she and her parents would not co-operate with the investigation.

Mr Cleasby added: “The Crown say that this is a top category offence, he clearly sought to incite the child.”

Scott Smith, defending, said Colville would take part in any sex offender programmes or use medication to curb his predilictions.

He added: “There was no actual physical contact here and it is clear that his motivation had been fuelled after his release from prison.

“His letter to the court is extremely candid, and he has previously sought to be placed on medication which will go some way to tackle the problem.

“On his release he will clearly be under the supervision of the Probation Service for the protection of the public for some time.”

The judge told Colville that the sentence imposed for the offences had to be a significant one.

Judge Tony Briggs said: “The significant factor seems to be that there was a targeting of an underage girl and you lied about your age.

“It’s perfectly plain that you offended as soon as you were released and from all I have read about you this sentence gives you time to take advantage of the courses that are available to you.”

Colville, formerly of Nelson Street, South Bank, was jailed for five years, given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order banning Internet use and contact with children under 16, and ordered to register as a Sex Offender for life after he pleaded guilty to inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and breach of a Sex Offender’s Prevention Order.

The judge ordered the destruction of the phone.

January 2014

Peterlee sex offender jailed for downloading indecent images of children

A SEX offender was said to be “in denial” of his attraction to young girls, a court heard.

Recorder Sophie Drake made the observation about Ashley Colville as she jailed him for a year for possession of indecent images of children.

It followed recovery of an iPhone by police who called at his home in Peterlee, County Durham, on October 5.

Durham Crown Court heard that examination of its contents revealed 27 offending images, including five considered to be in the top two most serious categories for such material.

Colville told police he had gone onto an internet chat room from which he was able to download adult pornography, but he accepts it included indecent images featuring children.

Stephen Duffield, prosecuting, said Colville claimed they were, “not there at his instigation.”

But, Mr Duffield said that at the time Colville was on licence from a 40-month prison sentence for an indecent assault on a 16-year-old woman, for which he was ordered to permanently register as a sex offender.

Colville, 23, of Cotswold Place, admitted ten counts of possession and one of making indecent images of children.

His barrister, Scott Smith, said Colville indicated early admissions in the case, but accepted that, “a significant aggravating feature” of the case was having access to such material given his previous conviction.

Mr Smith said a pre-sentence report on Colville appears to suggest he has a, “high level of sexual pre-occupation”, but he added that there would be little opportunity to address this while in custody, as his latest offence would not attract a lengthy sentence.

Imposing the year-long prison sentence, Recorder Drake told Colville: “It’s readily acknowledged that custody is the only option here due to your previous conviction.

“I accept you have not physically touched the children on these images, but by looking at them you’re encouraging abuse of children and furtherance of what is a vile industry.

“It’s worrying that you failed to recognise you have a sexual interest in children.

“The author of the report has grave doubt about managing your future risk and I agree with that.

“At the age of 23 you are building up a worrying history for sexual offending.”

Recorder Drake also made Colville subject of a sexual offences prevention order, restricting his future access to the internet, “indefinitely”, while he remains on the Sex Offenders’ Register, for life.