January 2018

Welwyn father arranged to meet 15-year-old boy at a Harlow McDonald’s for sexual activity

A father-of-one asked the dating profile of a fake 15-year-old boy to meet up for sexual activity at a Harlow McDonald’s.

Tejas Parikh, 37, from Welwyn, was charged with attempting to meet a child after speaking to who he thought was a 15-year-old boy in October last year.

A member of the paedophile hunter group posed as the boy on the gay dating app Grindr.

On October 3, 2017, the profile was contacted by a profile called ‘IndianTop’, which was later confirmed to be controlled by Parikh while he was in custody

Several conversations took place over Grinder and Whatsapp between the pair after he gave out his number.

The court heard how the fake profile said he was still at school and was 15-years-old, which Parikh replied: “Okay, I love young but I have to be careful of the law.”

He then made jokes that he was under age and was too young to be on Grindr.

The court heard how they had attempted to meet up before, but the defendant did not show up.

On October 13 last year, at 1.40pm, the defendant messaged the profile to ask how he was.

The fake profile replied with: “You didn’t turn up last time,” to which he replied with: “Yeah, didn’t really know it was you, I’m free today for sure.”

“Really?”, the profile replied.

Parikh, who has a seven-year-old child, told the profile: “Yes, what time you thinking?” and the WhatsApp chat continued in a sexual nature.

He then asked him: “Are you genuine, not a paedophile hunting ring or something?” then agreed to meet him at McDonald’s in Harlow.

At 11.09am he was arrested in his car by officers at McDonald’s when police were informed of the snare.

On investigation, police discovered he sent images, thought to be of himself as the man in the pictures was an Asian male in his 40’s wearing glasses.

Prosecuting lawyer, Cyrus Shroff, told the judge the defendant had no previous convictions but highlighted that he had a sexually explicit conversation and had items in his car in which to aid with sex.

Sentencing Parikh, Judge Turner told him: “This is a sad and shameful day for you. You are 37, you are a university graduate, you have a bachelor’s degree, an MBE and further qualifications.

“You have lost your career, your reputation, the integrity and respect of your wife and family circle and your family have been financially affected.

“If a 15-year-old had been corrupted the sentence would be measured in years. However, I am satisfied that I can deal with you in a way which protects the public.”

Parikh sobbed in the dock at Chelmford Crown Court yesterday (January 26) as he was handed a two year community order, ordered to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £300.

He was also given a five year sexual harm prevention order and will be ordered to sign the sex offenders register for five years.