March 2019

Pervert jailed for sending explicit text to a child

A man has been jailed for 18 months after admitting to engaging in a sexual activity in front of a child.

Liam Purnell, 50, and of no fixed abode, also pleaded guilty to texting the teenage girl days later speaking about what he did, and sending her an explicit image.

He was jailed at Shrewsbury Crown Court on Monday for one offence of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, and one of sexual communication with a child.

The court heard that on December 29 last year, Purnell carried out a sex act on himself, in front of the girl.

Prosecuting, Mr Graham Russell said he sent the text messages two days later.

Mr Thomas Kenning, defending, said Purnell had recently lost his job and the offences were part of a spiral of out-of-character, “self-destructive” behaviour.

Mr Kenning said: “In his own words he is unbelievably ashamed.

“He admitted these offences to anybody and everybody who would hear what he had to say about them.

“He admitted to a friend, he admitted to police officers, he admitted it in interview.”

In sentencing him, recorder Martin Jackson said: “I am satisfied that you knew exactly what you were doing when you committed these offences.

“Following on from your behaviour on December 29 you sent not one but two messages, with the first referring to your actions on December 29.

“That must have been an unpleasant reminder for her.

“If you had wished to apologise to her for what you had been doing you could have.

“Your remorse is quite plain to see. I have been told your actions were the result of distorted thinking at the time but these were deliberate actions.

“You gave no thought at the time to the impact of them on a child.”

He sentenced Purnell to 18 months in prison for the sexual activity and a concurrent two-month sentence for the communication.

He has already spent two and a half months in custody since his arrest.

The recorder also made an order for his phone to be forfeited and destroyed, and for a sexual harm prevention order to be made.