September 2016

Ex-prison officer tried to arrange sex with 9-year-old girl


An ex-prison officer and Royal Navy submariner who planned to indulge in depraved sex acts with a nine-year-old girl was caught in a police paedophile sting operation has been jailed.

Married father of three Geoffrey Grimster-Shepherd, from Torpoint, shared sick online chats with a woman in which he detailed his warped intentions with her young stepdaughter.

These included her dressing in her school uniform and denim miniskirts while they performed sex acts on each other.

The 58-year-old, who served as a chief petty officer on the Hunter-Killer fleet of nuclear submarines, also lusted after having full sex with the youngster and sharing a threesome with her and her stepmum.

He even said he would ‘bring on her puberty’ and wanted to be her boyfriend.

But, unbeknown to the pervert, the woman he was communicating with and knew as Tracey was an undercover cop – and her stepdaughter ‘Katy’ did not exist.

He was arrested after travelling from his family home in Cornwall to Gillingham in Kent, where he had arranged to meet Tracey.

It was while having a coffee in McDonald’s and after he had once more detailed his evil desires – telling Tracey he was ‘turned on’ at the thought of them – that officers swooped.

Police later found almost 3,000 images and movie clips of children being subjected to horrific abuse on his Samsung Notebook and memory sticks.

Some of the victims were babies, others no more than two years old.

Maidstone Crown Court heard Grimster-Shepherd had also engaged in similar online chats with 12 other people who offered their children for abuse.

But there was no evidence that he had ever met up with anyone other than ‘Tracey’.

Following his arrest, he claimed his intentions were fantasies and he had just been ‘testing his boundaries’.

Grimster-Shepherd, of Chestnut Close, admitted two offences of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence and 10 of possessing indecent photographs of children.

A judge, having concluded he represented a danger to the public, imposed an extended sentence of imprisonment totalling seven years and eight months.

He must serve two-thirds of the custodial term of four years and eight months before becoming eligible for parole, with a further three years added to any licence period.

The court was told it was a ‘spectacular fall from grace’ but his wife and children, aged 13, 24 and 27, were standing by him.

Passing sentence, Judge Julian Smith said on Friday the fact Grimster-Shepherd ‘naively’ gave the undercover officer his home address and mobile number demonstrated just how caught up he was in his depravity.

Despite telling police he hoped he ‘had the strength’ not to go through with his sick plans once he had met the youngster, Judge Smith said he had no doubt that Grimster-Shepherd would have carried them out had Katy existed.

“You wanted an inappropriate relationship with her and you were fascinated with that. You clearly and graphically detailed what you wanted to do and were excited about what you intended.

“You spoke of being a boyfriend to that nine-year-old and turning her into a woman and you had a history of regular communication with others sharing similar depraved views, conversations with others who would essentially offer their own children for abuse.

“You also accrued a collection of images of the most graphic kind.”

Judge Smith said the offences were aggravated by the degree of planning and the vulnerability of the ‘child’ Grimster-Shepherd believed her to be.

“You travelled a substantial distance in anticipation of what you were going to do. This organised, persistent and obsessive interest demonstrates you present a serious risk of significant harm and you are, in my mind, dangerous.”

Grimster-Shepherd, who now works as a support worker for adults with learning difficulties, also asked for two further offences of possessing indecent images of children to be taken into consideration.

There were a total of 2,733 stills and movie clips which covered all levels of seriousness.

Prosecutor Donna East told the court Grimster-Shepherd began communicating with Tracey in January over a variety of online platforms.

She purported to be in a sexual relationship with her young stepdaughter and Miss East said there was ‘a great deal of interest’ from Grimster-Shepherd, who wanted details of what Tracey would do to Katy and if she enjoyed it.

He referred to his own depraved desires as his ‘peccadillos’ and Miss East said it was clear he knew Katy’s age.

“He wanted her to dress in a denim mini skirt and trainers or school uniform and wanted her to perform oral sex on him and he would do the same on her.

“He also wanted to have full sexual intercourse with her and to have a threesome with them both or watch Tracey engaging in sexual activity with Katy.

“There were various conversations where he refers to ‘bringing on her puberty’ by sexually abusing her.”

The online chats continued until he arranged to meet Tracey on April 25 and he was arrested by the Kent Police online paedophile investigation team.

In a series of lengthy interviews with officers, Grimster-Shepherd admitted he went into great detail about what he planned to do.

“He also referred to himself as wanting to be a boyfriend to her in a long-term relationship and making her a woman,” said Miss East.

“He also said it was pure fantasy and thought he would not go through with it. But he could not say what would have happened if the police hadn’t arrested him.”

Grimster-Shepherd also claimed none of his conversations with Tracey aroused him sexually and was just ‘testing his boundaries’. But he admitted it had spiralled out of control.

Ian Dear, defending, said it was a spectacular fall from grace for a man who had served in the Royal Navy for 22 years, rising to the rank of chief petty officer before he retired, and then worked in the prison service before becoming a support worker.

The court also heard that he had had a ‘long and successful’ marriage but his crimes had had a ‘disastrous’ impact on his family, none of whom were at the sentencing hearing.

Mr Dear added that Grimster-Shepherd revealed he had had thoughts about young girls before he wed but marriage ‘sorted him out’.

He was now ‘eager to identify the Genesis’ that led to what was described as his breakdown