Dad snares online beast

Sex Offender's Register for life: Wayne Corkhill
Sex Offender's Register for life: Wayne Corkhill

A Blackpool father today revealed how he helped put a predatory paedophile behind bars – by posing as his 10-year-old daughter on Facebook.

The man struck up an online chat with Wayne Corkhill after the pervert sent the youngster a ‘friend’ request on the social network.

The quick-thinking father then lured Corkhill into revealing his identity.

When he reported the exchange to police he was shocked to discover Corkhill was on bail at the time awaiting sentencing for a string of child sex offences.

The father today told The Gazette he was glad Corkhill, 23, had targeted his family – so he could see him put behind bars.

He said: “As I was messaging him I was getting more and more wound up.

“I found out where he worked, his address. I just wanted to go round to where he was and drag him out.

“I just had to keep myself calm and let the police deal with it.

“I just see it as what any parent would do.”

“I found out where he worked, his address. I just wanted to go round to where he was and drag him out.

“I just had to keep myself calm and let the police deal with it. I just see it as what any parent would do.”

He described how a parent’s worst nightmare began with a seemingly innocent Facebook friend request.

The girl’s parents had allowed her to set up an account on the social media site on the condition they were kept informed – and knew the password.

Her dad said: “The way we saw it, if all her friends at school were on Facebook and we said ‘no’, she would just set one up anyway and we wouldn’t know.

“She got a friend request off him and I could see from his picture he was clearly in his 20s.

“I didn’t really think anything of it – I just ignored it. My partner is in the profile picture as well and my colleague said he might think it was her he was talking to.”

He then explained how he accepted the friend request and – posing as his step-daughter – started a conversation to see what Corkhill wanted.

He said: “I asked ‘do I know you?’ and he said ‘no, sorry, but I think you are gorgeous’.

“I told him I was 10-years-old and he said that was OK.

“A few quite harmless messages were exchanged and then I said I was at primary school and he said when I finished school did I want to come and meet him in town? He said I could come round to his flat. He said I could watch a DVD and have some cuddles.

“He said ‘your mum wouldn’t need to know – it would be our little secret’.

“By this point, obviously, I was raging.

“But, in a way, I’m glad it was my girl he has gone after because I know there’s a lot of kids out there that would have kept quiet and wouldn’t have said anything.”

Details of the online conversation first emerged this week at Preston Crown Court, when Corkhill was jailed for six years and seven months.

But despite being tempted to take matters into his own hands, the dad said he was glad he left it to the police.

“My mate said going down that route is going to get you into trouble,” he added.

“The police did brilliantly – I couldn’t have asked for more. But it does make me angry to think he was on bail at the time. I don’t see how somebody can do that to a small girl and be let back out on the street.

“When he has already done it to one girl, why has he been able to do it to another one?”

Corkhill struck up the online conversation back in July, the same month he was bailed while he awaited sentencing after admitting to having sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl.

While he was on bail, he also met up with two other girls, aged 11 and 12, touching one of them on the leg. He contacted one online to invite her and friend to his house, the court heard.

Det Sgt James Edmonds said: “Wayne Corkhill posed a significant risk to children. His goal was to meet with them and commit sexual offences against them.

“The sentence is a reflection of the serious nature of these offences and this is also recognised by the judge’s decision to recognise that Corkhill is a ‘dangerous offender’.

“Thankfully cases of this nature are rare, but it is important that the message delivered is that the victims of crimes of this nature will be protected and offenders will be prosecuted.”

Corkhill will serve half of his jail term before being released on eight years extended licence after pleading guilty to five charges of sexual activity with a child, plus two of meeting a child following sexual grooming and one of attempting to meet a child following grooming.

He will be on the Sex Offender’s Register for life.