March 2019

Pervert caught in police sting

A man arrested in an anti-paedophile police sting at a York supermarket has been jailed for three years.

Christopher George Walton, 33, was sitting in a Berlingo van whose rear seats had been removed and had “a large supply of condoms” and other items that could be used in sexual activities, said Paul Newcombe, prosecuting.

He was waiting to meet a schoolboy nearly 13-year-old called “Noah” whom he had told via social media he would meet him at a Lidl supermarket car park, take for a drive and “see what happens”.

But in reality “Noah” didn’t exist. His profile on Grindr social media had been created as part of a police operation and 15 minutes before he was due to arrive at 4pm on January 14, police pounced.

“The defendant was shaking as he was arrested and said “I knew it”,” said Mr Newcombe.

Walton, of Ingleborough Avenue, Tang Hall, pleaded guilty to two offences of attempting to incite a child into sexual activity and one of attempting to meet a child after sexual grooming.

He was jailed for three years, put on the sex offenders’ register for life and made subject to a 10-year sexual harm prevention order curbing his contact with boys under 16 and use of the internet and electronic devices.

Mr Newcombe said “Noah” had told Walton at the start of their exchanges in early January he was “nearly 13” and that he was at school. Walton had been the first to turn their exchanges to sexual content, and had asked him more than once to send him a sexual picture of himself. “Noah” had not done so.

For Walton, Keith Allen said as part of their Grindr exchanges, the 33-year-old had told “Noah” he was too “skint” to buy him a McDonalds and they wouldn’t be able to drive far because he didn’t have much fuel.

On two occasions, he had also not contacted “Noah” for days at a time and “Noah” had resumed the contact

At the time of the offences, Walton had been suffering from depression, but not on medication.

As soon as he had been released following his arrest, he had gone to his GP and got anti-depressants.

Mr Allen said police must have submitted a profile with a false date of birth because Grindr was restricted to adults.