June 2017

Wolverhampton predator targeted schoolgirls online

A paedophile who groomed and had sexual relations with two vulnerable schoolgirls has been locked up for 10 years.

Trevor Finnikin, 44, lied about his name and age while trawling the internet for victims, Birmingham Crown Court was told.

Finnikin, who has children of his own, used Facebook to target the youngest child first.

He was in his late 30s but claimed to be 23 when contacting her ‘out of the blue’ and telling her she looked ‘cute,’ explained Mr John O’Higgins, prosecuting.

They met around June 2012 and he drove her to a spot in Hobbs Hole Lane, Aldridge, where they spent time talking before parting with a hug, the court was told.

Regular weekend meetings followed at the same location as the grooming continued with the relationship becoming increasingly intimate.

He took indecent photos of her and they had sex twice as it gradually dawned on her that this was all he was interested in, the court heard.

She then brought a friend with her to the meetings to prevent him taking further advantage of her.

But Finnikin was already grooming the second girl in a relationship that continued through 2013, the court was told.

Sexually explicit messaging followed initial contact via a music website.

This time he lied about his name and said he was 18.

He collected her from school and took her to either a car park or community centre where sex acts took place.

Finnikin was arrested in 2015 for possession of indecent images – not of the two girls – and was jailed for 16 months the following year.

He was released last October but police found details of the illicit relationships with the two girls during interrogation of his mobile phone which had been seized during their earlier investigation.

The victims were traced and interviewed – one of the victims told police Finnikin had ‘ruined her life’ – and he was arrested in February.

Finnikin, of Shaw Road, Bushbury, admitted charges including grooming, penetrative sex and having indecent images of a child.

He was ruled to present an ongoing danger to the public and given an extended sentence, meaning he will be monitored for four years longer than normal on release.

Judge Patrick Thomas QC told him: “This happened a long time ago but was pursued with persistence and cynicism.

“If you meddle with young children in this way you are bound to cause damage.”

The judge added: “You certainly did cause damage and this should be on your conscience for the rest of your life.”