May 2018

Children’s entertainer caught by paedophile hunters trying to meet girl for sex

A children’s entertainer was caught by ‘paedophile hunters’ has he tried to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex.

Michael Monks, 37, sent pictures and videos of himself performing sex acts to a person he thought was a schoolgirl.

The dad asked the supposed child ‘Evie’ for oral sex and suggested they stay the night at a hotel or bed and breakfast.

But the pervert – who worked as a DJ and entertainer at children’s parties – was in fact talking to an online child protection team

Liverpool Crown Court heard Monks, of Richmond Terrace, Anfield, was snared by volunteers from the group Keeping Kids Safe.

Henry Riding, prosecuting, said they set up a fake profile on the chat website Hitwe and ‘Evie’ told Monks she was only 13.

He asked for her phone number so they could chat on WhatsApp, said he loved her and requested, but did not receive, naked pictures.

Mr Riding said they chatted from October 3 to November 10 last year – conversations which ended with Monks arranging for them to meet.

Monks claimed they could just “cuddle” if she didn’t want sex, but said he would like to “snog” and for her to sleep naked.

He offered to buy her underwear and said she would “look sexy in a thong”, but did not turn up for the meeting in Derby.

Mr Riding said the group used his phone number to track down his address, after they found him selling a TV stand online.

Members confronted him at his home, live streamed the encounter on Facebook Live and called the police, who arrested him.

Officers seized computer equipment at his home and found he had downloaded and shared sickening pictures of children.

This included five Category A – the most serious category – 14 Category B and 74 Category C indecent images of children.

One of the Category A files was of a child aged between eight and 10 performing oral sex on an adult man.

Mr Riding said Monks made “full and frank admissions” to police, but initially denied being sexually interested in children.

He said: “He said he did casual work as a DJ although he was unemployed and operated as a kids entertainer at birthday parties.”

Monks, who confessed to having a “school uniform fetish”, said he also sent videos to other girls, but denied meeting any of them.

The dad, who has a previous conviction for burglary and theft in 2014, admitted attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.

He pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act.

Monks also admitted three counts of making (downloading), two of distributing and one of possessing indecent images of children.

 

Desmond Lennon, defending, said his client, who sobbed in the dock, had only just come to terms with his “troubling interest in children”.

He said: “He has a daughter of almost the same age as the complainant and if it had happened to her, he would have been disgusted with it.”

Mr Lennon urged the judge to impose a suspended sentence, adding that Monks realised now that he had “issues” and needed “help”.

Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, said if “properly used” the work of organisations like Keeping Kids Safe could “serve a very useful purpose”.

He said ‘Evie” was an adult “masquerading as a 13-year-old girl to see the extent to which you were prepared to go in order to satisfy your perversion”.

Monks wiped away tears in the dock as the judge pointed out the indecent image offences were not victimless crimes and the girls pictured had been exploited.

Jailing him for two and a half years, he said: “As a father of a teenage girl, you know better than most the enormous harm that can be done by the commission of offences of this sort. “You know how you would have reacted if your daughter had been exposed to abuse in this way.”

Judge Goldstone told him to sign on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely and to comply with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years.