Undercover officers trap Wigan pervert

A Wigan sex offender was snared when a girl of 12 he was lewdly contacting online turned out to be an undercover police officer.

Bolton Crown Court
Bolton Crown Court

Philip Patten, 55, of Fairhurst Avenue, Standish, faced one charge of sending a sexual message to someone he knew not to be 16 or over, and three of trying to get a girl of 12 to look at images of sexual activity when he made his first appearance before a Bolton Crown Court judge.

And he immediately pleaded guilty to all four charges.

The court was told that Patten had chatted with someone called Morgan whom he believed to be a 12-year-old girl on the Kik messaging app.

But the conversations between February 10 and 23 last year were in fact with a police officer.

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The judge was told he sent “Morgan” an indecent image and video and requested indecent images from her.

He was arrested at his home address on July 24 last year.

Patten was sentenced to 10 months in prison which have been suspended for two years.

He must also complete 25 days of rehabilitation activities and will have to sign onto the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.

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l Meanwhile another Wigan man has been accused of inciting several young girls - who were in fact undercover police officers - to take part in sexual activities.

Matthew Bennett, 26, of Park Road, Wigan, appeared before magistrates facing 10 child sex offence charges.

Among the claims are that he sent lewd pictures of himself to girls under 16, that her persuaded a girl of 12 to send an indecent picture of herself to him and that he incited the mother of a seven-year-old to perform a sex act on him and allow her to be sexually assaulted by him.

But, the hearing was told, the woman and girls with whom Bennett was communicating, were in fact undercover police officers.

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He is further charged with distributing indecent images of children which fall into the lower, category C of seriousness.

The offences are alleged to have taken place online between January and July this year and Bennett is said to have had illicit communications with girls based in both Ashton-under-Lyne and Plymouth.

The bench ordered that the case be sent to Bolton Crown Court where Bennett is first due to appear before a judge on September 21.

In the meantime he has been remanded in custody.