Pervert caught urging man to abuse young girl insists messages were '˜pure fantasy'

Shaun Wilkes was given a suspended sentence but made the subject of a sexual harm prevention orderShaun Wilkes was given a suspended sentence but made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order
Shaun Wilkes was given a suspended sentence but made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order
A PERVERT who encouraged a man to abuse a child has been spared jail.

Shamed Shaun Wilkes, 53, looked distraught in the dock at Portsmouth Crown Court as his sordid crime was outlined to a judge.

Prosecutor Barry McElduff said police raided Wilkes’ home in Little Hackets, Leigh Park, on suspicion that child abuse images would be found on devices.

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Officers did not find any indecent images but his phone contained twisted messages between Wilkes and another user.

Sickening chat logs, recorded on the chat app Kik, revealed Wilkes ‘describing in considerable detail’ himself abusing a young girl.

A lawyer for Wilkes said the conversations were ‘pure fantasy,’ the court heard.

No evidence was ever found that this had taken place, the court heard.

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Yet in one out of the 2016 stomach-turning logs, Wilkes advised how the man could ‘abuse his own niece and in circumstances that could at first start off as innocent playing but move on to something altogether more sinister,’ the prosecutor said.

When quizzed by police Wilkes, who has no previous convictions, denied having a sexual interest in children.

But at court he admitted a single charge of encouraging or assisting in the commission of an offence.

The court heard police had no evidence the second man had gone on to abuse his own niece, or that any physical sex offence had taken place – but Wilkes had encouraged or assisted the sexual assault of a child under 13 and was causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity. While he did not carry out those crimes, he faced the same penalties.

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Sentencing, judge David Melville QC said: ‘These are appalling things to say, they’re unimaginable even to think of; to state them to anybody else displays a degree of depravity on your part which is difficult for any decent people to comprehend.’

He added: ‘It’s best to keep such fantasies to yourself if you have to think of them.’

Judge Melville imposed a two-year jail term suspended for two years with 30 rehabilitation activity days, and 100 hours of unpaid work.

Howard Barrington-Clark, mitigating, said: ‘I can’t explain the inexplicable or defend the indefensible.

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‘What was said was horrifying but it’s someone writing the most awful horror story, it’s a story. Whether he was in his own little bubble and reality wasn’t going to come in, we don’t know.’

Pointing out no-one had been abused, he added: ‘What came out was appalling but it was only words, there’s no evidence of any actions by anyone on the planet that followed from those words.’

The judge ordered Wilkes’ phone must be destroyed.

He was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order limiting his access to the internet. He must sign the sex offenders’ register.