Convicted paedophile jailed for encouraging woman to sexually abuse child

A convicted paedophile has been jailed after exchanging thousands of horrific messages with a child rapist about sexual abuse, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Paul Pickerill, 66, encouraged Vicki Bevan, 37, who was imprisoned for life in May for the systematic abuse of a girl aged under 10, to commit offences against a child under the age of 13.

Police discovered they had been discussing the assault, injury and sexual abuse of children after seizing Pickerill’s phone while he was being investigated for other sexual offences in April 2021.

On this and other devices, officers also found 141 indecent images and videos of children.

Pickerill, from Runcorn, Cheshire, was interviewed in prison in Doncaster about the messages with Bevan before being arrested and charged.

On August 25, he pleaded guilty at Chester Crown Court to intentionally encouraging Bevan to commit penetrative offences against children under 13 which she went on to commit.

On Friday, he was sentenced to 10 years, with another five years on licence, the CPS said.

He is also subject to a sexual harm prevention order for life and will remain on the sexual offenders register for life.

Bevan, from St Helens, Merseyside, was jailed along with Paul Rafferty, 62, and Tony Hutton, 42, at Liverpool Crown Court in May for the abuse of a young girl over a two-year period from 2019 until 2021.

Judge Andrew Menary KC told her she must serve a minimum of 10 years before being considered for parole and condemned her for carrying out “shockingly depraved” fantasies.

She pleaded guilty to rape, five counts of assault of a child under 13 by penetration, two counts of sexual assault of a child under 13, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, making indecent images, three counts of distributing indecent photographs of a child and two counts of possessing extreme pornography.

Senior crown prosecutor Pauline Newrick, of CPS Mersey Cheshire, said: “This has been a very distressing case for the whole prosecution team as there were communications between Pickerill and Bevan that no one should have to read.

“The content of those messages clearly shows the depths to which Pickerill was prepared go to in encouraging another person to sexually abuse very young children.

“Bevan herself has been convicted and sentenced because of these messages and others coming to light.

“Without perpetrators like Pickerill, who enable other paedophiles, the abuse of children would not be so extensive. I am pleased that he has been given such a substantial sentence. His imprisonment will no doubt protect other possible victims from this dreadful abuse.”