A paedophile posing as a doctor has been jailed for three years after trying to incite young girls to perform sexual acts.
James Turpin, 39, from York, contacted the ‘girls’ after finding their profiles on Facebook, not realising he was in fact chatting to adult decoys from a “paedophile-hunter” group.
They had set a trap for Turpin after posting fake profile pictures of the four under-age ‘girls’ and pretending to be school-age children during the highly sexualised online chats, York Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Richard Holland said Turpin even sent one of the teenage ‘girls’ a picture of himself purportedly “walking to work” as a trainee doctor at a hospital.
But he had been outfoxed by the group who turned up at a hotel to confront him.
They handed police a dossier of evidence from the online conversations between 13 April and 18 April.
“The defendant contacted four of the (Facebook) profiles run by (the vigilante group),” said Mr Holland.
The first ‘girl’ told him she was 14 and Turpin told her he was younger than he was. He told ‘her’ he was a doctor “working in hospital” earning £70,000 a year.
He asked her if she had any intimate photos that she could send him and that he could “buy her anything she wanted”. He told her he was “very busy (as a doctor) and could do with a cuddle”.
When she refused to send any pictures, Turpin said she should be with “someone older” who “could teach you a few things”.
He suggested ‘she’ carry out a sexual act on him and said he would “love it if you did that to me”.
He told ‘her’ sex was “brilliant” and urged her to perform a lewd act on herself.
Turpin said he “couldn’t wait to kiss her” and told her: “We can keep it our little secret.”
He then sent ‘her’ a picture of an intimate part of his body and asked ‘her’: “Do you like it?”
Turpin then targeted three other profiles of ‘girls’ with similarly sexual chats. All said they were either 13 or 14.
The vigilantes then turned up at a hotel where Turpin was staying, ostensibly to meet a woman he had met online. They were carrying a “dossier of these chats” which they gave to police after they were called to the hotel.
Turpin was arrested and charged with four counts of attempting to incite a girl under 16 to engage in sexual activity and three counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.
He ultimately admitted the offences and appeared for sentence on Thursday (8 September).
Defence barrister Stephen Uttley said Turpin was a “sad individual” who suffered from “appalling” health conditions.
Mr Uttley said Turpin was an alcoholic and a “very shy man”.
After the offences came to light, Turpin’s then home had been attacked by a “mob” who put his windows through and assaulted him, resulting in a severely broken wrist.
Because of this, Judge Simon Hickey ordered that his York address was not released, adding anyone “behaving in this way has significantly achieved a reduction in (the defendant’s) sentence”.
Judge Hickey said Turpin clearly thought the ‘children’ were real and that he was “masquerading as a much younger man” as part of the grooming process.
Turpin will serve half of the three-year jail sentence behind bars before being released on prison licence.
He was placed on the sex-offenders’ register for life and made subject to a 10-year sexual-harm prevention order for the protection of children.