June 2016

‘Predatory’ Pontypool man jailed for grooming teenage girls


A Pontypool man has been jailed after he groomed two teenage girls on Facebook who later turned out to be fake profiles.

David Phillips, aged 44, of Prince Street, was sentenced at Newport Crown Court today after being charged with two counts of attempting to arrange or facilitate the commission of a child sex offence.

He pleaded guilty to the allegations that he attempted to meet two girls; a 14-year-old girl and a 15-year-old girl for the purpose of sexual activity.

The court heard he contacted the two girls via Facebook. Neither of the girls were real but a member of the public purporting to be two teenagers from Pontypool.

Jason Howells, prosecuting, told the court the defendant first made contact on April 6, 2015 with a fake girl called Laura.

He said the conversation went from flirtatious messages to the defendant asking to meet with the girl after an hour of conversation.

The girl told the defendant she was 15-years-old to which he replied that they should keep their interaction a secret.

The defendant received a photo from her of a young girl in her underwear.

Within the four day period they were talking; the defendant travelled to London to meet with the teenager after she told there was an opportunity for her and the defendant to meet up at an address alone.

Mr Howells told the court, the defendant was reluctant at first but was then ‘keen’ asking questions whether the property was ‘overlooked by neighbours.’

He said the conversation turned more explicit with the defendant saying he would sexually educate the teenager.

The court heard Phillips admitted to the girl he was 43-years-old and not in his 30’s; she replied that she was 14-years-old and not 15-years-old.

The second girl a 15-year-old called Sarah was contacted by the defendant around the same period. Mr Howells said this conversation was ‘more sexual and more direct’ than the first.

He told the court the defendant said he had bought the girl a ‘present’ which was a condom for them to use.

Judge Michael Fitton QC sentenced Phillips to 16 months imprisonment in total for both offences.

He said: “It is felt by the probation officer that Mr Phillip’s behaviour was of a predatory disposition targeting young females for his own sexual gratification. It is clear he has distorted thinking.”

Phillips was also made subject to a 10 year sexual harm prevention order which prohibits him from accessing social networks and he will also have to sign the sexual offender’s register.