March 2018

Disgusting WhatsApp messages a former school worker sent to paedophile hunters

A paedophile hunting group has released messages a former school worker sent to one of their decoys, who was posing as a 13-year-old girl.

Daniel Marks, 24, from Eliotts Drive in Yeovil, was branded a paedophile by a judge – who spared him jail so he could get treatment for his ‘sick and distorted’ thoughts.

Marks served as the parish councillor for the Brimsmore ward of Yeovil Without Parish Council between 2014 and 2015, representing the Labour party, and had worked at a school for six months until his arrest in July 2017.

The school he had been working at was not identified during the hearing.

He had previously admitted a charge of sexual communication with a child and was handed a three year community order by Judge David Ticehurst on Thursday (March 22)

He will have to carry out up to 20 days of rehabilitation activities including completing a programme designed to help sex offenders.

He will have to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work, pay £400 costs and was made to sign the Sex Offenders Register, as well as being made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Prosecuting, Virginia Cornwall said the sting had been carried out by the group Guardians of the North, who had been operating in an online chatroom.

“At the start, the girl said that she was 13 years old,” she said. “The conversation started out flirtatiously, but soon became sexual and serious.”

Sentencing, Judge Ticehurst told him: “You told the probation service that you didn’t know if you were attracted to children or not. Let me answer that question for you: You are.

“You pretend otherwise because you want to hide the truth. But the reason you were on that website talking to what you thought was a 13-year-old girl was because you wanted to be.

“You wanted to be sexually involved with a 13-year-old. That makes you a paedophile.”

He said it was particularly worrying that Marks had been employed by a school at the time of his arrest.

“You chose employment that meant you were close to children,” he said.

The judge explained that he could only sentence Marks to a short period in prison if he chose to jail him, and there was more chance of him being rehabilitated with a community order.