Paedophile imprisoned for six years after attempting to meet 'girl, 13' at Northampton train station

The court heard that the man was, instead, met by paedophile hunters who streamed the confrontation on Facebook before his arrest

By Megan Hillery
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 6:08 pm

A man has been imprisoned after he attempted to meet a ‘13-year-old girl’ at Northampton train station with the intention of engaging in sexual activity.

Trevor McLaughlin, aged 44, appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Thursday, June 16 after pleading guilty to intentionally arranging sexual activity with a child, engaging in sexual communication with a child and cannabis possession.

The court heard that - on January 27, 2022 - McLaughlin contacted the decoy Facebook profile of a 13-year-old girl living in Northampton set up by a group seeking to deter online child abuse.

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Trevor McLaughlin, aged 44, from Birmingham, appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Thursday, June 16.

Matthew Rowcliffe, prosecuting, described how McLaughlin said he had no problem with her age but was concerned about people finding out he was talking to her. The conversation then moved to WhatsApp where it became “gradually more sexual.”

Mr Rowcliffe said McLaughlin sent images of his exposed chest and told the decoy he spent time in prison for being in a sexual relationship with a child and he could get in trouble if people found out about them. He asked the decoy where she lived and what hours her mother works before asking her to be his “unofficial girlfriend.” He told her they would only have to wait five years and, once she turns 18, they can “tell everyone.”

In a text message read aloud to the court, McLaughlin told the decoy: “I want to show you how good it feels to have someone passionately touch you and I want to be your first time for everything.”

The court heard that, on February 2 this year, McLaughlin arranged to get a train from Birmingham to meet the girl at Northampton train station.

McLaughlin - who brought a teddy bear with him - was, however, confronted by the paedophile hunters at the train station, the court heard. They streamed the confrontation on Facebook and called the police, who arrested McLaughlin.

The court heard that McLaughlin was found in possession of cannabis and an examination of his phone revealed internet searches of sexual intercourse with children.

McLaughlin has 14 previous convictions for 34 offences including robbery, GBH, oral sex with a child, indecent assault and penetrative sex with a child - the latter landed him in prison for nine years.

Chantelle Stocks, in mitigation, said that McLaughlin previously minimised his offending, denied sexual interest in children and saw seeking help as “a sign of weakness.”

She said McLaughlin has since made positive progress by admitting he found the decoy sexually attractive, demonstrating remorse and showing empathy towards victims of his offending.

The court heard that McLaughlin suffered “childhood trauma”, has a long history of drug use and has been diagnosed with two mental health disorders for which he has started medication.

Her Honour Judge Rebecca Crane told McLaughlin that he showed “callous unconcern for the feelings of others.”

She added: “These are offences you would have gone on to commit. You were only stopped by the fact that there was no real child there.”

Trevor McLaughlin, of Coniston Road in Birmingham, was sentenced to six years and one month imprisonment and placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely. A Sexual Harm Prevention Order was imposed until further notice.