Calderdale pervert who had online sex chats with underage girls caught out in undercover police sting

A pervert who sent sex texts to underage girls was arrested after being caught in an undercover police operation.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 2:26 pm
Updated Friday, 14th May 2021, 2:30 pm

William Preece was arrested after the officer posed as a 14-year-old girl in an internet chatroom.

Leeds Crown Court heard Preece sent a message to an online profile in August 2018

Catherine Duffy, prosecuting, said the officer replied saying the girl was 14 and Preece asked: "Like older guys?"

Leeds Crown Court

Their conversation continued and Preece asked to be sent a photo, which he received on Kik Messenger.

Later that month, the 'girl' messaged him saying: "I am well younger than you".

The 32-year-old continued sending sexual messages and asked to meet the youngster while she was wearing her school uniform.

Officers attended his home on Novale Way in Wakefield in October that year.

He was arrested and taken to a police station. His home was searched and a number of devices were seized, including a tablet and a computer tower.

When interviewed Preece admitted sending the messages when his partner was at work.

He also denied that other conversations with children or indecent images would be found on his devices.

But Ms Duffy said he had sexual conversations with four other young females on Kik Messenger, including one in which he suggested having sex with a 15-year-old before she 'turned legal'.

He told another 15-year-old: "Love being naughty haha. Hope you can keep secrets. Send pics."

Preece also asked her if she would let him have sex with her.

The prosecutor said police tried to identify the victims but could not due to the passage of time.

Ms Duffy said police also found indecent images on his devices. Six videos were in the most serious category.

Preece claimed he thought he had been talking to women in their late teens and early 20s and that he did not know there were any indecent images of children on his devices.

Preece, now of Garlick Street, Brighouse, pleaded guilty to five counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, one count of inciting a girl to engage in sexual activity and two counts of making indecent images of children.

Charles Blatchford, mitigating, said Preece lost his relationship as a result of the offences and had to move in with his parents.

Mr Blatchford said Preece is ashamed and remorseful and the case has affected his mental health.

Preece was made the subject of a three-year community order, during which he must complete 25 days of rehabilitation activity, 31 sessions of a sex offender treatment programme and 150 hours of unpaid work.