Wigan man jailed for grooming teenage girls

By Gerald Heneghan

A Wigan man has been jailed for 12 years over his grooming of two teenage girls.

Paul Alex Francis Wallace of Appleby Bridge was found guilty of grooming, making indecent photographs of a child and sexual activity with a child at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday (March 1st).

He was also convicted of possessing an indecent image of a child, as well as attempting to engage in sexual activity in the presence of a child.

Officers with Lancashire Constabulary launched an investigation into Wallace’s contact with underage girls over the internet in August 2011 and examined a number of his electronic items.

Information recovered from the devices indicated he had maintained regular contact with a young girl from Bedford and exchanges messages of a sexual nature.

Officers from Bedfordshire Police arrested Wallace on April 5th 2012 and examined more of his possessions.

Further evidence was uncovered, including a number of indecent images and messages relating to a separate victim. Officers from Greater Manchester Police’s Sexual Crime Unit further arrested him in August 2012.

The investigation found that he had initiated contact with the 15-year-old victim when she was 13 years old, chatting with her over the internet and via text messaging.

Wallace and his victim met on several occasions and he first had sex with her on an airbed in the back of his van. On a separate occasion, he collected her in his Aston Martin and transported her to a flat in Wigan.

He told the young girl he had a lot of money and took “numerous” videos of his sexual contact with her.

Detective Constable Ceri Martin of the Sexual Crime Unit claimed Wallace hid his penchant for teenage girls under a “veneer of respectability”.

“He is a predatory paedophile who displayed classic grooming behaviour, scouring the internet and befriending young girls. He offered a listening ear and made them feel special, so much so that they began consensual relationships with him,” she said.

“He manipulated them simply for his own sexual gratification and has now been jailed for his appalling offences.”

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