January 2019

Paedophile hunters snare Hull dad looking for ‘sex chats’ with girls

A group of paedophile hunters turned up at an estate agents to confront a man who was trying to incite children to commit sex acts.

Three adult “decoys” allowed pictures of themselves as teenagers to be posted online so married father Garry Mulligan, 56, would think he was talking to underage girls.

Mulligan, of Stanley Street, west Hull, thought he was talking to “Ella”, “Stacey”, and “Bobbie-Jo”, who all told him in online chats they were 14. Instead, they were decoys working for a group calling itself “National Child Protectors”.

Adam Walker, prosecuting in Hull Crown Court on Monday, said the decoy’s tactics were to give their purported ages quickly “and they then allowed the suspect to develop the conversation, which on each occasion quickly turned onto the question of sex”.

Using WhatsApp and “similar platforms”, Mulligan asked to see naked parts of their bodies and their underwear. He also asked them to commit sex acts. Mulligan sent “Bobbie-Jo” pornographic links and “asked if that aroused her”, Mr Walker said.

He also told “Ella”: “This is how sex chats start.” Mr Walker said: “He was schooling her on how to have a sexually arousing conversation.”

Mulligan asked two of the “girls” to send him indecent pictures of themselves, and had at least two online chats with each decoy.

Mr Walker said: “National Child Protectors used their investigation means to track down Mr Mulligan at his place of work, an estate agent. The police were involved and Mr Mulligan was interviewed and admitted his guilt.”

Mulligan pleaded guilty to four offences of attempting to incite a child under 16 to engage in sexual activity, and one of attempting to communicate sexually with a girl he believed was 14. The offences took place in November 2017.

Sentencing Mulligan to six months in jail, suspended for two years, the judge told him: “These are serious offences. No matter that these were decoys; you believed you were speaking to 14-year-old girls, and with that belief you attempted to get them to do things that were completely and utterly inappropriate, and indeed illegal.”

Mulligan must register as a sex offender for seven years and was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for the same period. He must also attend the Horizon programme, have up to 15 days rehabilitation, and was given 28 days t pay the £670 prosecution costs of the case.