November 2016

British ex-pat travelled 100s of miles to UK from his French home hoping to abuse eight-year-old twin girls

chap

A depraved ex-pat Brit who travelled hundreds of miles to the UK from his home in The Provence in the sick hope of sexually abusing twin girls aged eight has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Married 52-year-old Richard Chapman was caught in a police sting.

He engaged in online communications with a female officer in the false belief she was the youngsters’ mother and told her they were the “perfect age” for his sordid plan.

Chapman also described himself as a “terrible pervert” and said children were “a forbidden thing but a massive turn-on” for him.

Even more shockingly, he told the undercover officer he knew as Jen it was “a shame” his wife could not have children as it would have given him “more opportunities”.

Chapman was arrested in July after he arranged to travel from his home in Molleges, in Bouches-du-Rhône, in the South of France and met Jen in a pub in Wimbledon, London.

At Maidstone Crown Court in Kent on Friday a judge said Chapman was dangerous in the legal sense and that an extended sentence of imprisonment was necessary to protect the public.

Chapman must serve two-thirds of the jail term before becoming eligible for parole. Upon release, he will serve the remainder of that sentence on licence, plus a further five-and-a-half years on licence.

Chapman admitted two offences of arranging or facilitating a child sex offence and four of distributing indecent images of children.

He also asked for two charges in relation to possessing and making child sexual abuse images to be taken into consideration.

The court heard he became embroiled in sick internet chatroom conversations after moving to France and finding it difficult to make friends.

A lack of interest in sex with his wife also led to him indulging in the depraved virtual world, where his barrister said he became ‘desensitised’ to the harmful reality of child abuse and traded indecent images.

These depicted abuse categorised by police as covering all three levels of seriousness and were also sent to the undercover officer.

Jailing Chapman, Judge Philip St.John-Stevens said he had a clear intention of meeting the twin girls, albeit they were fictional, and performing sex acts with them.

He added that Chapman also used the pornographic images as ‘currency’ with others and as part of the build-up in his plan to abuse the girls.

Prosecutor Donna East said Chapman began communicating with the covert police operation in June and continued until his arrest a month later.

She told the court he revealed his sexual interest in children spanned many years, starting when he was about 20.

‘He described previous attempts to abuse children and indicated that he preferred young children between the ages of three and seven but also liked children between seven and 12.

‘He also solicited images of the eight-year-old twins and requested details of Jen’s sexual activity with her daughters and said how great it was to involve her daughters in her sex life which he described as great and very healthy.’

Chapman also told Jen his wife worked away and was unaware of his perverted desires.

The court heard he said he had never physically met anyone who ‘shared his hobby’ and suggested meeting Jen so they could ‘flirt, giggle and find common ground’.

In other online chats Chapman claimed to have French kissed a teenage girl, performed a sex act on an 11-year-old and wished to go ‘a little further’, said Miss East.

He also expressed his plan with Jen’s daughters.

‘He referred to them as being the perfect age,’ added the prosecutor.

Chapman sent the officer 19 child abuse images, including one movie clip, before meeting in the pub on July 12.

Their conversation was recorded and Miss East told the court he claimed he first began abusing children after a trip to an open-air swimming pool.

‘He stated he had done some crazy things, including masturbating near young girls, and that he would tell Jen more about it when he knew her well.

‘He also said his wife couldn’t have children which was a shame because it would have given him more opportunities.

‘He described himself as a terrible pervert, always looking up skirts and down tops of young girls and trying to take photographs but this was too risky.

‘He said children were a forbidden thing but a massive turn on for him.’

After his arrest, Chapman claimed a lot of what he had told Jen was “fabricated”.

Police later found a total of 1,855 still and movie clips of child abuse on his computer at his home in France. Again, they covered all levels of seriousness.

The court heard Chapman’s “solitary” life after moving to France led to him becoming embroiled in an activity which “escalated out of his control”.

As part of his sentence Chapman must sign on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely and be subject to a sexual harm prevention order.