#childpredator | 12 sick internet predators every North Staffordshire parent needs to know about


These are 12 of the men who have appeared in court after being caught sexually grooming children in Staffordshire and Cheshire.

They include a pervert who travelled 250 miles to meet a ’14-year-old girl’ for sex and a pub landlord trying to meet an underage girl at McDonald’s.

It comes as reports of sexual grooming have risen to a record high in Staffordshire – but only a small proportion of offenders are being prosecuted for the crime.

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Charities have warned that spending more time online during the coronavirus pandemic, and less time with teachers and friends who might pick up on worries, has left children more at risk from online grooming.

Victims reported 123 cases to Staffordshire Police in 2020 – the highest number since figures began in 2004. Twenty-nine of these cases were in Stoke-on-Trent, which is the highest number ever seen in the city.

Here are some of the internet predators who have been caught in North Staffordshire:

Pervert travels half the country to meet up with ’14-year-old girl’ in Hanley hotel

Lawrence Simms has been handed a suspended prison sentence

A pervert who travelled 250 miles to Stoke-on-Trent to meet a ’14-year-old girl’ for sex was caught out in a sting.

Lawrence Simms made the journey from his home in Plymouth to Hanley after having sexual online chats with what he believed to be a child.

But the 54-year-old was instead confronted by paedophile hunters outside the Potteries Centre.

He soon learned that he had in fact been talking with a woman decoy from Phoenix Guardians who had been posing as the underage teen.

Simms – who has no previous convictions – was handed a suspended sentence.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard Simms started chatting with the ‘girl’ in early February last year and the conversation became increasingly sexual.

He then travelled to the Potteries on March 21, 2020 where he believed she would stay with him in a hotel room.

The defendant, of Keyham Road, Plymouth, pleaded guilty to one charge of attempting to engage a child in sexual communication, and a second offence of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.

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Moment scuffle breaks out as paedophile hunters corner pervert in Stoke-on-Trent

Mohammed Uddin was handed a suspended prison sentence

This was the moment a pervert became embroiled in a scuffle with paedophile hunters who cornered him for having sexual chats with multiple ‘children’ online.

The shocking footage was captured by Scorpion Hunters UK before being passed to police to ensure Mohammed Uddin was taken to court.

Uddin – who is made to sit with his legs crossed and his back against a wall – had believed he was communicating with three schoolgirls who were in fact adult decoys.

Uddin – who now lives in Birmingham – was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years.

He had pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and three offences of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

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Pervert snared by paedophile hunters as he tried to meet ‘girl, 14’, in Hanley park

Paedophile Matthew Charlesworth

Pervert Matthew Charlesworth was snared by paedophile hunters after trying to meet up with an ‘underage girl’ in a Stoke-on-Trent park.

The 31-year-old made contact with three ‘decoy’ 14-year-old schoolgirls who were in fact adults looking for child abusers.

Using the name Matt Charlei on Facebook, he told one of the ‘girls’ he was aged 20 and soon began talking about sex.

In a chat with a second ‘girl’, he told her to put her hand in her underwear and rub between her legs.

And he asked the third ‘girl’ if she ‘liked it in her mouth’.

A member of the paedophile group then agreed to meet the defendant at Hanley’s Central Forest Park at 2pm on June 11.

But after showing up, he was ‘handed over’ to the police and he was arrested the next day.

Charlesworth was handed an extended sentence at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court which is made up of 32 months custody with six years on licence.

Charlesworth, of Vale Street, Stoke, pleaded guilty to three charges of attempting to breach a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO), three offences of attempting to engage in sexual communication, and attempting to incite a child to engage in non-penetrative sexual activity.

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Paedophile hunters snare ‘isolated loner’ who tried to meet ’13-year-old girl’

Haydn Pinney sent a picture and a video of himself performing a sex act and asked the ‘girl’ to do the same.

Sex offender Haydn Pinney has been jailed after he was snared by paedophile hunters.

The 35-year-old contacted two decoy 13-year-old girls online before the conversation turned sexual.

He sent a picture and a video of himself performing a sex act and asked the ‘girl’ to do the same.

But he was arrested when he went to meet one of them and found her to be a decoy.

Pinney – who is already serving a 63-month sentence for sexually assaulting a girl – has been jailed for a further three years and eight months at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

Pinney, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to two offences of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child; attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming; attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity; and two charges of attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act.

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Moment pottery worker confronted in Tunstall street over sex chats with ‘Casey’, 14

Darren Gee was confronted by paedophile hunters

This was the moment a pervert was confronted by paedophile hunters after sending photos of his penis to a ’14-year-old girl’.

The shocking footage of Darren Gee was captured outside his Tunstall home before being passed to police to ensure he was brought to justice.

It shows the then 49-year-old with his hands in his pockets as he’s challenged by the Soul Survivors exposers who quiz him about his online sex chats with ‘Casey’.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard last month Gee had told the ‘girl’ he would like to have sex with her and sent her a picture of his penis. He also asked the ‘girl’ to send him a picture of her ‘private parts’.

Gee, now aged 52, of Nash Peake Street, Tunstall, was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months after pleading guilty to attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity and attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

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Moment pub landlord caught out in sting after trying to meet girl, 14, at McDonald’s

Jeffrey Matthews was confronted on the pub car park

This was the moment a pervert pub landlord was confronted by paedophile hunters after trying to meet an underage girl for sex.

The disturbing footage was captured by an online activist group before being passed to police to ensure Jeffrey Matthews was brought to justice.

It shows the 63-year-old being challenged on the car park of The Clough Hall Hotel in Kidsgrove.

He went on to plead guilty to engaging in sexual communications with a child and arranging/facilitating the commission of a child sex offence.

He is now in jail after being sentenced to 48 months at Preston Crown Court.

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One of Stoke-on-Trent’s worst repeat sexual predators to spend years behind bars

Michael Horn was sentenced at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court

One of Stoke-on-Trent’s worst repeat sexual predators was locked up after sending sick pictures to ’13-year-old Ruby’.

Autistic Michael Horn has spent the last nine years of his life appearing in courts for breaking orders aimed at keeping children safe from his perverted ways.

And the 29-year-old’s latest crime saw him having sexual chats with ‘children’ online.

Horn – who has over 20 previous convictions for various sexual offences – has been handed a nine-year extended sentence which is made up of four years in custody with five years on licence.

Horn, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity, attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and two charges of breaching his SHPO.

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Face of North Staffordshire ‘predator’ who groomed boys, 15, after placing job advert

Callum Townsend has been jailed for grooming two 15-year-old boys
Callum Townsend has been jailed for grooming two 15-year-old boys

A ‘manipulative and scheming liar’ was handed a 37-month prison sentence after he groomed two underage boys who responded to his job advert.

Callum Townsend, from Newcastle, is behind bars after he asked two 15-year-old boys for indecent photographs and engaged them in sexualised conversations.

The 25-year-old posted an advert on Facebook in October 2018 asking people from all walks of life to apply for employment at a new café in the town centre.

Townsend, of Ashfields New Road, initially did not turn up for his trial but after he was arrested and brought before the court, he pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual communication with a child, one count of enticing a child to send an indecent image, and one count of attempting to entice a child to send an indecent image.

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Pervert IT worker, 36, told ’13-year-old girl’ she would love his hands inside her knickers

Adam Drane, aged 36, admitted attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child
Adam Drane, aged 36, admitted attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child

A pervert IT worker sent sexual messages to a police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl online.

Adam Drane claimed to be 19-years-old when he joined a teenage dating website and began chatting with a girl called Molly.

He asked if the girl was a virgin and said he wished she could touch his private area and added she would love his hands inside her underwear.

Drane, 36, has been fined £5,000 and handed a two-year community order at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

Drane pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

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Pervert Phillip back behind bars after asking girl, 13, for nude pictures

Phillip Browne

Pervert Phillip Browne is back behind bars – after failing to tell police he had a smartphone.

The 40-year-old sex offender had also made contact with two ‘girls’ who he believed were aged 13 and 14 – and asked one of them to show him nude photos of herself.

Browne – who was jailed for similar offences in 2018 – has been jailed for two years at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

Browne, who was previously living in Silverdale, and had since moved to Rosliston Road, Burton, pleaded guilty to breaching the SHPO, two charges of attempted SHPO breaches, and attempted sexual communication.

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Pervert going by name of ‘Stoke guy’ snared in police sting after arranging to meet ‘Hannah, 13’, for sex

Martin Lewis, aged 25, admitted sex offences

A pervert who went by the name ‘Stoke guy’ was snared by undercover police officers posing as a 13-year-old girl.

Martin Lewis sent videos of himself performing a sex act despite ‘Hannah’ telling him she was ‘nearly 13’ and did not want any sexual chat.

The 25-year-old suggested playing ‘naughty doctor’ and asked if she wanted to have sex before arranging for her to visit him in Stoke.

But when he went to meet her outside the Co-op in Meir he was met by police who arrested him.

Lewis was sentenced to a three-year community order at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

Lewis, of Pinewood Crescent, Meir, pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child; attempting to use a child to watch a sexual act; attempting to cause a child to engage in sexual activity; attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming; attempting to arrange or facilitate the commission of a child sexual offence; and possession of extreme pornographic images.

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‘Sex-obsessed’ teacher jailed after grooming child on Grindr

Pervert teacher Craig Slater has been jailed

Pervert teacher Craig Slater groomed a 15-year-old boy on Grindr before having sex with him.

The 40-year-old was working as an IT teacher at Byrchall High School in Aston near Manchester when he contacted the boy via the app and asked if he’d wear his school uniform to a deprived meet-up.

Bolton Crown Court heard Slater, of Holland Street in Crewe, then groomed the boy in a ‘sophisticated and highly effective manner’ between June and November 2019.

He pleaded guilty at the first opportunity to five counts of sexual activity with a child, three counts of possessing indecent images of a child, engaging in sexual communication with a child, inciting a child to watch sexual activity, and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Sentencing Slater to five years and three months imprisonment, the judge Recorder Alex Leach described the offences as ‘reprehensible’.

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