April 2017

Crown court official jailed 

A crown court official who invited two schoolboys to his home for sex after meeting one of them through the gay dating app Grindr has been jailed for two years.

Philip Mansfield, 54, gave the youngsters e-cigarette liquid, money and trips out to the fair in return – in an ordeal that left them in ‘anguish and turmoil’.

The victims were just 14 and 15 when they first met Mansfield who worked as a guard on the doors of Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester. 

The exploitation began in September 2015 after one of the boys set up a Grindr account and asked if other users could buy e-cigarette fluid for him.

Mansfield answered and met up with him before inviting him back to his house.

The pair had several sexual liaisons during which Mansfield bought him an e-cigarette worth £90 and diving equipment worth £100.

The youngster then told his friend of his meetings and the two boys – who were best friends studying for their GCSEs – then began meeting Mansfield together. 

He gave them vodka, cider and takeaway pizza and bought one of the pair new trainers saying: ‘I wish you were my son – I’d be so proud.’

Mansfield also took sick pictures and videos of the abuse while claiming not to know the victims were both under 16.

Police later found 67 indecent images of the youngsters on his computer.

The former motor insurance company worker was arrested after being contacted by the mother of one of the boys who saw messages from him on the youngster’s mobile phone inviting him for a sleepover.

She rang Mansfield and told him she was the boy’s mother but he denied knowing him and said: ‘do what you have to do’ when she said she would ring police.

At the time the boy was in fact at his house and Mansfield sent him home while texting the other youngster to alert him that the mother knew everything.

He later claimed he thought the boys were 16 and admitted that he used no protection during sex. Both youngsters had to undergo tests. 

One of the boys’ mothers later told police: ‘I get angry and want to get hold of my son and ask why has it happened and why had he let this happen?

‘I do try and hide how I feel from him because it’s an important year for him but I feel I have let him down. I want to let him have freedom but can’t let this happen again.

The other mother said: ‘I feel so desperate and angry about what’s happened… My son is so trusting and vulnerable and when I told the police I was physically sick and was crying. I would not wish this feeling on my worst enemy, it’s awful.

‘My son gets angry now as he tries to deal with his emotions and he was sobbing and inconsolable after a particular nightmare.

‘It’s like he’s starting to understand what happened was not right.

‘It’s so heartbreaking as a mum, it’s like this man has broken this family.’

At Manchester Crown Court, Mansfield, from Chadderton, Oldham, Greater Manchester, admitted two counts of causing or inciting the sexual exploitation of a child and was jailed for two years.

Prosecutor Miss Lisa Boocock, said: ‘The first boy also told his friend to say when he visited the defendant that they were both 16 and were in Year 11.

‘The second boy was the more vulnerable of the two- and he thought that if he was with his best friend everything would be alright.

‘On one particular occasion they both told their parents they were staying at friends’ houses and they went to the defendant’s house. ‘They smoked and had alcohol. One said they had vodka and the other says they had cider. They also had takeaway pizza.

‘It became apparent that the defendant wanted to take pictures and videos of the activity. 

‘One of the boys took a more relaxed view but the other was quite worried about it taking place as he was worried the defendant would share it with others.

‘The defendant reassured him and both were regularly photographed and videoed by the defendant. The defendant would also ask that pictures were sent through WhatsApp messages to him.

‘The defendant on one occasion gave one of the boys £10 and told him to keep it safe in his pocket and not tell the other.

‘He bought trainers for one of the boys and would take him out. They talked about going to the fair.

‘One of the boys described his motivation for going back as not wanting to let him down.’

She said the truth emerged last August when the mother of one of the boys heard his phone beeping and noticed messages and photographs from Mansfield asking if he wanted to stay overnight. 

In a statement one of the boys said: ‘It’s made me feel bad, it’s all just bad. I’ve felt bad thinking about why did I let it happen. ‘It’s made me feel like it could happen again and such I don’t go out anymore.

‘I was scared I thought I might get rejected from society. It happened, I can’t change it. I just feel very s***.’

Passing sentence, Judge Patrick Field QC banned Mansfield from working with children for ten years under a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

He told him: ‘Each boy has been exploited and I will not pretend to understand fully the anguish and turmoil that will have caused.’