Update: Now living in Wombourne

March 2008

Pervert jailed after grooming schoolgirl on-line

A disgraced father has been jailed after he posed as an American teenage boy in an internet chat-room to lure young girls into sexually explicit web-chats

Father-of-two Paul Cummins befriended young girls on the website teenspot.com, and prosecutor Kerry Maylin said he “groomed them to the extent that they believed they were in love with him”.

The court heard the 36-year-old, who has a two year old daughter and a five year old son became friends with two girls – both aged 14 – via the site, and began to talk to them regularly in chat-rooms for up to four hours at a time

His seedy secret was eventually uncovered by his shocked partner who called the police

Mrs Maylin told the court that Cummins, of Simons Road, Chineham, made contact with girl A, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and very quickly told her that he was, in fact, a 35-year-old man, not a 15-year-old boy from America.

However, the conversations continued and developed into Cummins talking about his sexual fantasy, which was to have sex under water.

The court heard that the chats became much more frequent and led to girl A sending Cummins pictures of herself over the internet.

Mrs Maylin said: “During a 14-day period, about 27 hours of chat logs were mase.” She added; “He talks about painting her body with chocolate body paint and encourages her to put her face underwater and take photographs, because that’s his sexual fantasy.”

The court heard Cummins, who sat with his head in his hands for much of the sentencing hearing, asked to see girl A’s breasts and said he wanted to have sex with her.

Mrs Maylin said that a meeting was eventually arranged at a park in Oldham, near Manchester. Nothing happened between Cummins and girl A but he told her; “As long as I don’t intend to do anything, it’s okay for us to meet up.”

The court also heard that a significant number of text messages were sent between Cummins and girl A’s phone.

The second victim, who was also 14 at the time, was quickly lured into trusting Cummins. Mrs Maylin said Cummins asked girl B – who also cannot be named for legal reasons – for sex repeatedly, but she refused.

Cummins persuaded girl B to talk to him via a web-cam and asked her to look into the camera and say she wanted to have sex with him, but she declined. The pair did meet at a bus stop in Reading, but again nothing
happened.

The court heard that Cummins’ twisted pastime only came to light after his partner – the mother of his children – became suspicious about the amount of time he was spending on the computer and on the phone.

She found a semi-naked picture of girl A on his computer and subsequently contacted the police. Officers attended the home address and seized Cummins computer and phone.

The court heard that police found what they described as an “astonishing” number of text messages to and from Cummins and both victims. Further investigation was carried out and the chat logs were uncovered.

Both victims, who are not from the Basingstoke area, were interviewed and Cummins was arrested on August 28th last year.

Cummins made no comment when interviewed initially, before admitting he had been chatting to the girls and talking about sexual matters.

Mark Sullivan, defending Cummins, said there was no excuse for his client’s “unsavoury, unpleasant” and “totally inappropriate” behaviour over the three month period of offending.

However, he said Cummins had been suffering from, and taking medication for, clinical depression, which affected his state of mind and left him with barely any self-esteem.

“He may have found that talking in this way to these young girls somehow eased his own particular problems.” Mr Sullivan explained.

“He is extremely remorseful for the upset and embarrassment this has caused to the young girls and their families.”

Judge David Griffiths said Cummins had “taken advantage” of “immature and vulnerable” young girls and that his “disgusting and corrupting behaviour” was “planned and calculated”. He told Cummins “You were clearly aware of the process of grooming young girls.”

Cummins pleaded guilty of two counts of meeting a child following sexual grooming and asked the judge for a similar offence against a 12-year-old girl to be taken into consideration.

He also pleaded guilty to six counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and a single count of making indecent photographs of a child. 

Cummins was jailed for a total of 42 months, less the 172 days he has already spent in custody. He was also made subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) indefinitely, was ordered to sign the sex offenders register indefinitely and banned from working with children for life. 

The SOPO bans Cummins from using internet chat rooms or from seeking to communicate, or communicating, with children under the age of 16 without parental consent.

He is also banned from seeking, or being in, the company of children under the age of 16 without parental consent. Restrictions on unsupervised contact with his daughter were also imposed.

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