May 2017

Leeds City Council officer exposed in online paedophile hunter sting

A Leeds City Council officer used his work e-mail to groom schoolgirls before encouraging them to send him explicit sexual images.

Paul Newby, 39, was caught after being exposed by a ‘paedophile hunter’ who he contacted via Facebook after being tricked into believing he was in touch with a 13-year-old girl in care.

Newby, a council tax and benefits officer with the local authority, was jailed for four years after pleading guilty to a string offences relating to grooming underage girls and inciting them into sexual activity.

A judge described his offending as “sophisticated predatory behaviour.”

Leeds Crown Court heard Newby became friends with a 14-year-old girl on Facebook before persuading her to send him sexually explicit photographs and a video of herself.

Newby told the youngster he was 25 years old and that he would marry her when she was 16.

He also offered to put money in the girl’s bank account so she could travel to meet him.

Andrew Haslam, prosecuting, said Newby also made contact with a fake Facebook profile set up by a man seeking to expose paedophiles.

Newby made friends with the ‘victim’, believing she was a 13-year-old girl who was in care in the Nottingham area.

Newby sent the video of the 14-year-old girl to the Facebook account as well as explicit images of himself.

He also offered to send money so he could meet up with the 13-year-old. Police arrested Newby at his employer’s offices on March 8 this year.

Mr Haslam said Newby told officers that he had incriminating evidence on his phone before handing it over to them.

The prosecutor said: “He told them, as he was to repeat on a number of occasions, that he needed help and he told them, in fairness, that he would be honest with them.”

The next day police recovered the content of the Facebook conversions and contact he had made using his work e-mail. Indecent movies and images were also found on his mobile phone.

Newby, of Forest Bank, Gildersome, pleaded guilty to:

  • Two offences of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity

  • One of attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act

  • Attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming

  • Causing a child to engage in sexual activity

  • Inciting a child to engage in sexual activity

  • Causing a child to watch a sexual act

  • Two offences of distributing indecent images of a child

  • Three of making indecent images of a child.

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