Married father-of-two Warren Wild outside Minshull Street Crown court
A married father of two who led a double life as a member of a paedophile ring which preyed on boys via the gay dating app Grindr has been jailed for six years.
Carpet salesman Warren Wild, 51, of Meltham near Hudddersfield, West Yorkshire, used the site to target two youngsters aged 13 and 15 – paying the older child £100 for a sex act in his car.
He later shared 75 photos of one of the boys with other perverts online.
After police trawled paedophile sites they intercepted some of the images and later raided the home Wild shared with his wife and family in March 2017.
They seized his phone and other electronic devices which contained explicit conversations of a sexual nature between him and the two victims.
Officers also uncovered 1,294 indecent pictures of children between 5 and 16 and discovered Wild had distributed 119 of them to other paedophiles.
It emerged Wild had asked for pictures of the older boy in his school uniform and had agreed to buy him a games console and asked the lad to call him ‘Daddy.’
The boys named only as M and H declined to give a statement saying they wanted to ‘put the matter behind them.’
At Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, Wild pleaded guilty to to three counts of paying for sexual services of a child, one count of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and three counts each of making and distributing indecent images.
The incidents took place after Wild created a profile on Grindr and began communicating with M.
Wild (left, in his police mugshot, and right, outside court) used Grindr to target two youngsters aged 13 and 15 – paying the older child £100 for a sex act in his car
Prosecuting, Miss Lisa Boocock, said: ‘M was 13 years old at the time but its quite clear that he was sexually inexperienced and he said he was 15 in an attempt to give himself more maturity. When he set up a profile on Grindr he said he was 18.
‘The conversation was particularly sexual and the defendant got him to send pictures of his boxers and his genitals.
The defendant then sent M pictures of his genitals. M said that he was a virgin and that he wanted to have sexual intercourse with the defendant and the defendant discussed meeting for sex, but this never happened.’
The court heard H also created a profile on Grindr falsely claiming he was 18 and was contacted by Wild before they swapped texts between December 2016 to March 2017.
Miss Boocock added: ‘H told the defendant he was 16 and the defendant was asking H for photos of him. He asked for pictures of his boxers and genitals and H obliged him.
‘They discussed meeting up and the defendant offered H £100 and asked what would he do for that money. H said ‘anything’ and the defendant picked him up from the swimming baths and drove to a secluded place. They then performed (a sex act) on each other and the defendant gave him the fee of £100.
‘H initially blocked the defendant on social media but then got back in touch as he desperately wanted money so that he could buy an IPad. The defendant was keen to meet with H again and he asked him to call him ‘Daddy’ during sex.
‘They talked about having sexual intercourse and the defendant made it clear that he wanted to take him to a friend’s flat. H was not in favour of this so it never occurred.
At Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester (pictured) Wild pleaded guilty to to three counts of paying for sexual services of a child, one count of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and three counts each of making and distributing indecent images
‘H sent the defendant pictures of himself in school uniform at the defendant’s request and then asked if the defendant would buy him a games console. In his immaturity, H said this was ‘literally the only thing he wanted in the world’. The defendant agreed to this.
‘They continued to talk about meeting up for sex and this continued up to the date of his arrest. Of the images found, 75 of them appear to be H and that was never mentioned to him. I am unaware of whether H knows because both M and H do not wish to engage with the police investigation and wish to put this all behind them. ‘Fortunately, images of M were not distributed.’
Mitigating, Steven Sullivan, said: ‘He is 51 years of age and it is always sad when somebody loses their good character at that age, particularly in circumstances such as these. He has no previous convictions and has never appeared before the court.
‘He fully accepts the enormity of his wrong-doings. He has shown remorse for his victims and he, himself, is wishing to make amends. Clearly something has gone very wrong; a hard-working, industrious family man with two teenage boys living his best life. He cannot explain why he did this.
‘He, too, suffered at the hands of someone while on his paper round when he was younger.
‘He has suffered major losses – he has lost his home, his marriage is over, he has not seen his teenage sons since July 2017, and he has lost his employment.’
Sentencing, Judge Angela Nield said: ‘It’s clear from the beginning you asked H for sexualised photographs and you met a number of times.
‘He is like many teenage boys, who has a Saturday job or is saving pocket money – he should’ve been out playing football or with friends, but he was with you having sexual experiences which were far in advance of his years.
‘These two young boys do not wish to engage further with the police and it’s not difficult to see why that might be. It is not difficult to understand the likely impact this will have on them, particularly at a time when their emotions are likely to be confused.
‘Of all the people who should have appreciated this, you should be one of the most significant if you were, at a similar age, the victim of offending of this nature.’
The judge added: ‘At the time of offending you were living a blameless and positive life, perhaps the most successful part of your life with a wife and two sons. You had a home and a job.
‘Whatever sentence this court imposes on you, you have already suffered in what you have lost in your personal life. Employment will be difficult in the future because of restrictions the court is bound to impose on you.
‘You have two sons who you have not seen for nearly two years and this must be a significant loss.’
Wild was also made subject of an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and he will also be required to sign the Sex Offender’s Register for life.
Detective Constable Rochelle Evans, of a police squad which investigates child sexual exploitation said: ‘Wild used social media to target his victims who were both under 16 years of age.
‘It is important that parents and carers take interest in the contact young people have with others online and via social media platforms, particularly those that may be targeted at an older audience and to recognise that all young people under the age of 18 are at risk, whether they are boys or girls.’