December 2017

Paedophile jailed for the second time 

mark

A paedophile who had just been released early from prison was snared again when he attempted to meet up with what he thought was an underage girl for sex.

Mark Thornton explained to the ’14-year-old’ he had ‘been a naughty boy in the past’ and had been ‘grounded in a different way’ after serving around half of his two year sentence.

Thornton, 51, had previously been caught coercing ‘young girls’ into meeting for sex before being snared red-handed in an Asda car park last year.

The paedophile was sentenced in September 2016 for engaging in explicit chats with what he thought were two 13-year-old girls and arranged to meet one to take her virginity.

Within months of his release the unemployed father was, again, using apps to communicate with a young girl and meet for sex.

The 51-year-old acted more cautiously this time, claiming he was scared.

After early release in 2017, Thornton told a decoy he had been caught before and had to trust the 14-year-old was a real girl before meeting.

He spoke of his time in jail, complained how bad the food was and said “I did plenty of crying too”.

Thornton stated: “This will be my second Christmas on my own with no one to spoil,” before calling the decoy, 14-year-old ‘Samantha’ ‘sexy’ and ‘beautiful’.

Thornton used the app ‘Waplog’ to chat to the underage girl set up by vigilante group Dark Justice.

The app boasts of helping people find the hottest person in their area with the same interests, quickly and easily.

The app is intended for over 17 year olds but can easily be signed up to.

Thornton believed he was talking to a 14-year-old girl Samantha when Dark Justice reported the paedophile in a Morrisons car park.

Thornton attempted to meet the youngster at Darlington train station earlier in day but got scared and re-arranged the encounter, to be caught hours later by Dark Justice.

At Teesside Crown Court on Friday, Thornton of Chandos Street, Darlington, pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a girl under 16-years-old following grooming and two counts of breaching a sexual harm prevention order.

Thornton was sentenced to another two year sentence and has been ordered to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.

A Dark Justice spokesman said: “He messaged us first, he clearly hasn’t learnt his lesson.

“He started talking in a sexual way but he was more cautious this time.

“He was scared to get caught again, he was telling me about his time in prison.

“He deserves everything he gets but he also didn’t receive any help in prison.

“He has been given two years in prison again, it clearly isn’t working.

“Come Christmas next year he’ll be out and back on the apps.

“Who’s to say it won’t be a real child next time, they should be given longer sentences so they can get help.”

September 2016

Sex offender caught by online paedophile hunters jailed for two years 

A father who arranged to meet a 13-year-old girl and take her virginity has been jailed after he was snared by online paedophile hunters.

Mark Thornton, 50, from Darlington, chatted to underage girls across two different profiles set up by group, Dark Justice.

The group create decoy accounts to track down men who are seeking sexual activity with underage girls. 

Among the sick messages sent by Thornton were requests for risque pictures and he also asked one girl if she was ‘excited’ about losing her virginity with him. 

He admitted two charges of attempting to incite a child under 16 to engage in sexual activity, one charge of attempting to meet a child under 16 and one charge of attempting to meet a child under the age of 16 for the purpose of sexual activity, at Teeside Crown Court.

Thornton was sentenced two years in prison and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for ten years.

During the trial, prosecutor Paul Abrahams said that Thornton began chatting to a social media profile with the name Jessie Amy Thompson in July of this year and soon turned the conversation sexual.

Mr Abrahams said: ‘She said she was 13-years-of-age. That was made quite clear in the conversation.

‘He used what we would call in global terms, grooming. He was asking her to commit penetrative sexual acts.’

Thornton used explicit language and asked her to meet up but no such meeting materialised.

Later the same month, Thornton struck up a conversation with a profile under the name ToonLass13 on the social media site Kik and was again told her age.

Mr Abrahams added: ‘She indicated immediately that she was 13 and called Amy.

‘He told her he had previously had sex with a 15-year-old but she would have been the youngest.

‘He exchanged pictures of his penis and asked for pictures of her but she said she had none.’

‘Thornton then asked: ‘Are you looking forward to losing your virginity babe?’

The following day, Thornton arrived at an Asda car park in Darlington to meet the girl and was caught on camera by Dark Justice.

He was later arrested by police.  

Mr Recorder Wright told Thornton: ‘It is clear to me that you have little to no insight into your offending so you pose a risk to children.

‘You have a sexual interest in children and this is deeply concerning.

‘In fact no children were exposed to your behaviour but you did not know that so I am sentencing you essentially on what was in your mind and what you would have done had you been able to get your hands on a child.

‘You chose to offend in this way. Losing your partner, friends and family is entirely your own fault.’ 

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