A PAEDOPHILE pilot was caught in a sting operation by an undercover police officer posing as a 12-year-old girl on the internet.
Blackpool Flight School director Craig Seville, 37, got in touch with the ‘girl’ on an internet chat room and had sexual conversations with her before exposing himself to her on a webcam.
Preston Crown Court heard Seville, who gave his real age to the girl, was living in a “fantasy world”.
At the time of the offences, which happened in Blackpool, Seville, from Oldham, was already on bail over a separate probe into child sex offences by Greater Manchester Police.
Seville was jailed yesterday for three years and four months after he admitted attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity, attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act, and possessing and distributing indecent images of children.
Frances McEntee, prosecuting, said after his computer was seized last February Seville admitted he had used chatrooms for about 10 years to talk to teenage girls but was merely curious.
A total of 436 indecent images of children – some at the most serious category of Level 5 – were found on his computer and it was discovered he had been involved in messaging with three users who appeared to be under 16.
He had also distributed a number of indecent images to online users.
Barbara Webster, defending, said Seville’s downfall had been triggered by the economic crisis.
She added: “He maintains he entered this fantasy world to take him out of the real world.”
Sentencing him Judge Stuart Baker dismissed this argument and said: “This is not the stuff of fantasy. There is no fantasy world involving abuse of children.
“The children depicted in the images are real children being appallingly abused by adults elsewhere in the world.”
Det Sgt Neil Fowler, from Blackpool’s public protection unit, said: “He was under no illusion 12 was the age of the girl and the nature of the conversation was highly sexualised.
“We are very pleased with the sentence.”