July 2018

Paedophile’s vile campaign of abuse ended when hunters trapped him online

A dangerous Dursley paedophile who raped a girl more than 150 times is beginning a fifteen and a half year jail sentence today.

Philip Dowling, 47, of St George’s Road, Dursley preyed on the girl when she was between the ages of 11 and 16.

His crimes were revealed when he was trapped by a paedophile hunting group posing as a 14-year-old girl whom Dowling arranged to meet at Gloucester Railway Station.

Dowling pleaded guilty at Gloucester crown court yesterday to four charges of raping his victim when she was under 13, six of raping her when she was older and taking indecent images of a young girl and grooming another young girl online.

The Court heard Dowling was caught by a group of paedophile hunters called Totnes Justice who set up fake profiles of young girls on Facebook to lure perverts.

When he started chatting to what he believed to be a 14-year-old girl called Laura he was ensnared by the group and the sordid truth about his other crimes came to light, said prosecutor Brendan Moorhouse.

Dowling arranged to meet ‘Laura’ at Gloucester Railway Station on January 28 – and was arrested when he arrived.

Dowling had said a number of sexually explicit things to ‘Laura’, including : “As long as you don’t think I’m a paedophile…”

When he was arrested police discovered two indecent images of a young girl on his mobile phone.

Mr Moorhouse said the abuse of the girl started when she was 11 years old and continued until she was 16.

His victim wrote an impact statement which was read out in court. In it she spoke of how she now suffers from anxiety as a result of the abuse she received.

Her mother had contacted the NSPCC after seeing a love bite on her neck and her boyfriend also knew she was being abused, the court heard.

Text messages between Dowling and his victim revealed he had been sleeping with her.

“He admitted having sex with her and he also makes reference to having a shower together so they could wash each others’ backs,” said Mr Moorhouse.

Judge Michael McCullum said: “There were a very large number of rapes – 150 times between the ages of 11 and 16.

“It only stopped when she got to an age where she had a boyfriend herself.

“This was a campaign of abuse of trust and wickedness – you are a cruel and self centred paedophile.

“Clearly you are a dangerous person and there is a significant risk of similar sexual offending.

“I have considered whether this is a case for life sentence and it is right that you receive an extended sentence.”

Judge McCullum sentenced him to 15 years and six months in prison and ordered him to be placed on parole licence for an additional four and half years.

He also issued an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and ordered Dowling to sign the sex offender register for life.

May 2018

Dursley man admits child rape offences

A 47-year-old Dursley man has admitted 10 offences of rape of a girl between 2011 and 2016.

Philip Dowling, of St George’s Road, Dursley also pleaded guilty at Gloucester Crown Court on Friday, May 18, to making an indecent photo of a child on April 9, 2016, and attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming on January 28 this year.

The rape charges all refer to the same girl who was also the victim in the indecent image charge.

The first of the rapes took place when the girl was 11.

In relation to attempting to meet a child following grooming that was a different girl, the court heard.

Judge Ian Lawrie QC agreed to adjourn the case for a pre-sentence report so that the issue of Dowling’s “dangerousness” could be considered.

Adjourning the case until June 29, he said: “Clearly this is going to be a lengthy custodial sentence.”

Dowling was remanded in custody until the sentencing hearing.