Hartlepool youth worker trawled internet for sex with young girls

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A youth worker who trawled the internet to find young girls for sex has been jailed for more than four years.

Christopher Wise groomed his victims using internet social media websites before sending them hundreds of salacious messages, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Thankfully this level of manipulation is rare, but it highlights the potential dangers of talking with strangers online.

Acting Detective Sergeant Iain Pearson

Wise told one girl: “I want to spank you and tie you up, you have to be utterly submissive, you can’t say no to anything.”

Another message read: “It’s a pity your sister is so young, I think 13 is about as low as I could go.”

The court heard Wise arranged to meet one of his victims in rural Northumberland, where he groped her as they went for a drive in his sports car.

Wise’s victims said they felt ashamed and embarrassed to have been taken in by him.

“It gives me the creeps,” said one of his victims. “I am relieved nothing more serious happened to me.

“I have learned a lot from it, I am determined to put what happened behind me and get on with my life.”

Another victim said she had been left depressed, on medication, and felt unable to continue training for her chosen career.

“Wise would routinely lie about his age,” said Harry Hadfield, prosecuting. “He was 33 or 34 at the time, but told his victims he was in his 20s, or even younger.

“He knew their true ages, telling one it would be ‘more fun’.

“He also asked a victim if she could get someone younger for what is colloquially known as a ‘threesome’.

“The messages graphically and repeatedly said he wanted to engage in sexual activity with children.”

The court heard Wise also sent two of his victims a picture of his genitals, asking them to respond with naked pictures of themselves.

Wise, 36, of Honeysuckle Close, Hartlepool, admitted two charges of inciting a child to commit a sexual act, two charges of sexual activity with a child, three charges of inciting a child for sexual exploitation, two charges of arranging or facilitating a sexual act with a child, one charge of meeting a child following grooming, and one charge of making indecent images of a child.

He was of previous good character.

Nigel Soppitt, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Wise helped scores of people in his previous work, as his testimonials demonstrate.

“He has lost that job and career for what he accepts were a series of disgusting and appalling offences.”

The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, jailed Wise for four years and eight months.

The judge told him: “The messages you sent indicate you have a sexual interest in young girls.

“More worrying still is your attitude to your offending, telling the probation officer you have no sexual interest in young girls.

“That was clearly a lie, your sexual interest in young girls is deeply embedded and you are a danger to them.”

Wise was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order banning him from any unsupervised contact with children.

Speaking after the case, Acting Detective Sergeant Iain Pearson of Cleveland Police said: “I am pleased with the sentence that has been given today, it is a stark reminder to those who seek to prey on the vulnerable in our society that their actions will not go unpunished.

“Thankfully this level of manipulation is rare, but it highlights the potential dangers of talking with strangers online.

“This conviction was only possible due to the strength and courage of the victims who came forward, and all praise should be given to them.

“Cleveland Police take any report of this nature extremely seriously.

“We encourage anyone who feels they have been a victim not to suffer in silence, but to come forward and report the matter in the knowledge that they will receive all the relevant help and support.”