June 2018

Paedophile hunters caught middle-aged man who wanted sex with 13-year-old girl

A middle-aged man who thought he was telling a 13-year-old girl he wanted to be the person to take her virginity was in fact communicating with a member of a Welsh paedophile hunters group, a court has heard.

David Andrew Routliff engaged in sexually explicit conversations with the “girl” online, and via the messaging service WhatsApp over the course of a fortnight in November 2017.

Swansea Crown Court heard the 51-year was in fact communicating with an adult woman belonging to a group called the Welsh Children’s Protectors. He was stung by online children protection team Keeping Kids Safe (KKS)

Brian Simpson, prosecuting, said Routliff made “numerous requests” to meet for sex, sent her a picture of an erect penis, and asked her to perform sex acts on herself.

The court heard when the “girl” made it clear she was aged 13 and was a virgin, Routliff told her he wanted to be the first person to have sex with her – and said he would provide a morning-after birth control pill so she would not get pregnant.

Mr Simpson said Routliff and the “girl” arranged to meet on on December 8 last year but he did not turn up – prompting the paedophile hunters group to go to the police with its evidence.

When police traced the defendant they found 60 indecent images of children on his phone, and discovered he had been communicating with two young girls – during the sexually explicit conversations he again talked about meeting up for sex with them, going to a hotel for a rendezvous and providing the morning-after pill. He also said he wanted sex with the younger sister of one of the girls.

The court heard police had been unable to trace these other two contacts but it was presumed they were real youngsters rather than adults posing as girls – one of the contacts had sent the defendant nine naked pictures of herself in which she appeared to be aged between 13 and 16.

The phone also showed Routliff had been searching online for teenage pornography.

Mr Simpson said that during the defendant’s police interview he initially told officers that he hadn’t believed the conversations found on his phone were with real children, and thought they were being conducted by adults – he told officers he went along with them “for a laugh”.

Routliff, of Southdown Road, Sandfields, Port Talbot, had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, three counts of possessing indecent images and one count of distributing an indecent image when he appeared in the dock for sentencing.

Nicola Powell, for Routliff, said her client had always lived with his parents and had “never had a fully adult relationship”.

The barrister said that during her conference with Routliff he had told her he knew he shouldn’t have behaved in the way he had, and was ashamed of himself.

Judge Keith Thomas told Routliff he was guilty of offending which was so serious that only immediate custody could be justified.

For each of the three inciting offences Routliff was sentenced to 45 months in prison, and for each of the four image offences to eight months – all the sentences will run concurrently with one another making a total of 45 months in prison.

Routliff was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order, and must register as a sex offender – both of these will last indefinitely.

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