[A]n Ulverston man who targeted children online to engage in sexual activity has been jailed for 6 years.
Gerard Philip Wilson, aged 61, of Urswick Road, Ulverston was sentenced today (21st August) at Preston Crown Court for the following offences:
- Two counts of attempt to engage in sexual activity in presence of a child
- Adult meeting a child following grooming
- Three counts of sexual activity with a child
- Cause / incite a child to engage in sexual activity
- Attempt to cause / incite a child to engage in sexual activity
- Attempt to cause a child to watch / look at an image of sexual activity
- Three counts of making indecent photograph / pseudo-photograph of a child
- Three counts of distributing an indecent photograph / pseudo-photograph of a child
Wilson pleaded guilty to all offences at an earlier court appearance.
Wilson has also been placed on the sexual offender register indefinitely and received an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).
Wilson’s offending came to light after contacting an undercover police officer who he believed to be a child. He was subsequently arrested and the Constabulary’s Digital Media Investigation Unit conducted enquiries on devices belonging to Wilson which uncovered the scale of his offending between 2013 and 2017.
Detective Constable Ryan Parker, Digital Media Investigation Unit, said: “Wilson is a predator who used numerous online chatrooms and social media apps to engage, groom and sexually assault children.
“He has shown very little remorse for his crimes and I am pleased that he has now been jailed.
“I’d like to praise the bravery of the victims in this case as they have helped us in bringing Wilson to justice.
“We will continue to target and prosecute those who engage any form of sexual activity with children.
“I’d also like to appeal to parents to speak with their children about what social media sites or apps they are using as there are people online who will look to exploit children for their own sexual gratification.”