May 2018

Sordid & depraved secret life of Northallerton nurse

A mental health nurse shared indecent pictures of children with a paedophile and spoke about taking a one-year-old into public toilets so she could be “used”.

Married father-of-one John Worrall is now facing jail for his depravity – although he insists it was all fantasy to alleviate the pressures of work.

The 39-year-old North Yorkshire man was found guilty of four charges, after concocting seemingly ludicrous explanations for the photographs and chatroom messages.

He continually changed his story while giving evidence, and none of them matched what he had declared in a defence statement ahead of the trial at Teesside Crown Court.

Worrall initially claimed to be a paedophile hunter and was trying to trap a man who posted indecent images on a sports chatroom, by asking for more so he could go to the police with them.

Another version he gave was that his messages about child rape was simply “escapism” – telling the court: “It was to switch off from work.”

He added: “It was complete fiction from start to finish. It was an emotional release, and just gave me a bit of clarity so I could fall asleep.

“It wasn’t a good coping mechanism, I realise that now, but at the time it served a purpose, and that purpose was to take my mind off work.”

When he was asked by his solicitor, Robert Mochrie, if he had a sexual interest in children, he replied: “No, not at all, not one little bit.”

Prosecutor Jonathan Harley accused Worrall of making up his defence as he went along, and questioned why a memory stick – thought to contain images and other parts of his chats – was destroyed before police could get it.

Worrall claimed a virus had made it unusable a week before his arrest – after seven years of having no problems with it – and he got rid of it for innocent reasons.

“I wish I still did have it because it would have cleared me,” he told Mr Harley.

“As a mental health nurse, I have worked with murderers, rapists, paedophiles over the years, and I know what is legal and what is not.

“I appreciate it is not a victimless crime [child abuse pictures]. I would never deliberately view any images or want to view any images.”

At a hearing, in late-January, Mr Mochrie told a judge: “He was role-playing.

“On occasion, he would assume the role of an abuser, and the next moment the role of a super-hero – odd behaviour, but this is not simply a man engaged in talking about sexual abuse.”

During an earlier hearing, Worrall was claiming the memory stick had been put in his golf bag and he plugged it into his computer not knowing what was on it.

A jury of seven women and five men took just over four hours to find Worrall guilty of three charges of making indecent images of children and one of distributing them.

Judge Sean Morris remanded him in custody, and he will be sentenced on May 17.

The jury heard how Worrall was arrested at the family home in Northallerton in June 2016, and his laptop and mobile phone were seized.

Mr Harley said 916 images in total – 178 in the most serious category – were discovered in a hidden part of the computer, and experts used specialist software to look at them.

Among the 10,000 messages he exchanged on the internet were some about taking a young girl into public toilets for the gratification of others, and some about spying on children in a park and “looking at their panties”.

Worrall, who has lived in Chadderton, near Oldham, since being charged, will have to sign on the sex offenders’ register and will be banned from working with children when he returns to court in a fortnight.