February 2018

Pervert made arrangements to travel to the Philippines so he could abuse 11-year-old girl

A pervert made seedy arrangements over the internet to travel to the Philippines so he could sexually abuse a vulnerable 11-year-old girl.

He also wanted to watch over a webcam while the boyfriend of the woman he was talking to forced the poverty-stricken girl to commit sexual acts, a court heard.

Steven Linnell, 62, of Peveril Avenue, Scunthorpe, admitted arranging or facilitating sexual activity with a child.

He also admitted distributing and making indecent images of children.

Craig Lowe, prosecuting, told Grimsby Crown Court that Linnell communicated via Skype with a woman in the Philippines, between October 3 and December 21, 2016.

They had discussions about sexually abusing children and an arrangement was made for a girl to be brought so that Linnell could, on a webcam, watch her being sexually abused.

“The defendant discussed travelling to the Philippines to abuse the child,” said Mr Lowe.

Linnell made five payments, each of 105 dollars, to the woman, who was no doubt “stringing him along” and coming up with more supposed expenses.

He had requested a girl aged between nine and 13 to be abused.

“The girl was poor and was doing it to help out her family,” said Mr Lowe.

Linnell said he wanted to “make her feel good” and it seemed that an 11-year-old girl became available.

She would be forced to commit a sexual act, probably with the woman’s boyfriend, and Linnell said he wanted to have sex with the girl.

“He was going to go out there to have sexual intercourse with her,” said Mr Lowe.

“The act wasn’t actually carried out.”

Police received information that Linnell had been involved in sexualised chat about abusing young children and was exchanging images of children over the internet.

He was arrested at Humberside Airport on February 15 last year after he arrived back into the country.

Officers found child pornography after searching three laptop computers.

There were 1,933 images in total, with children as young as four and two. One child had handcuffs to the wrists.

There were numerous Skype conversations about sexually abusing children.

Judge Graham Robinson told Linnell that while there was a market and a demand for people to watch such images, it resulted in the recruitment of other children who were themselves abused.

“If there was no market for this filth, there would be no more abused children – other children where lives are ruined,” said Judge Robinson.

“There was a gross disparity in age between you and the girl you intended to violate. The international element is significant.”

Linnell was jailed for three years and was ordered to register as a sex offender for life. He was given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.