Paedophile told girl 'I won't last a day' after becoming 'obsessed' with her

Charles Thompson
Charles Thompson -Credit:Merseyside Police

A convicted paedophile infiltrated a theatre group before developing an "obsession" with a child actor.

Charles Thompson made a collage of pictures of the teenage girl after downloading the images from her Facebook page and suggested that they play roles which would see them portraying a couple on stage, despite their 30-year age difference. He also suggested that he "join her" in bed and admitted that his "new year's resolution to give her up" would be doomed to failure as he could not stop "daydreaming" about her.

Liverpool Crown Court heard yesterday, Wednesday, that the 46-year-old was previously handed a lifelong sexual offences prevention order and told to sign the sex offenders' register for seven years in 2014 after being convicted of causing a child to watch sexual activity. This also saw Thompson, of Neville Road in Waterloo, handed a 26-week imprisonment suspended for two years at Sussex Magistrates' Court.

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Louise Santamera, prosecuting, described how the dad then became involved in Waterloo and Crosby Theatre Company after his daughter joined as a member. He subsequently gave lifts to other children to and from rehearsals and began exchanging messages with one such girl.

While she was "sick in bed", Thompson texted her stating that he "almost wished he could join her, but that sounded wrong". Just over a week later, he messaged her to say he was "sending hugs" and added: "You've been on my mind since I last saw you."

Around six months later, he referred to having a dream in which "she would be the prince and he would be the pretty princess". Thompson added: "Don't worry, I intend to give you up as my new year's resolution.

"I'll see if I can go a whole year without daydreaming of you then making some creepy, inappropriate remark about it. I don't reckon I would last a day."

Thompson was also said to have "prepared a collage" of pictures he had taken from the girl's Facebook page without her knowledge. The police were contacted the following month after concerns were raised to the group's chairman.

She then challenged the defendant, who "apologised and said it was wrong". Thompson added that it "started off as a joke but it had gone too far" and said he was "glad the staff knew about it as it stopped it from going any further".

Ms Santamera said that he had been "involved in a number of productions" and "would have come into contact with various children under the age of 16". The chair also recalled one occasion on which he had recommended the girl for a part which she was deemed "too young for", and said that he had put himself forward for the role of this character's boyfriend.

Thompson was also said to have had access to a private Facebook group of which 70 to 80 teenagers were members. He was arrested at his home address and gave a prepared statement under interview saying that he was "refusing to answer questions because of his perceived belief that there was no evidence".

Following his release on bail, Merseyside Police installed "risk management software" on his phone. But, on January 12 this year, this technology detected that Thompson had visited pornography websites using incognito mode then accessed the girl's Facebook page, as well as logging on to online dating sites.

His criminal record also shows an entry for three counts of gross indecency with a child in 2003, for which he received a two-year community order and a five-year notification requirement. Ms Santamera said he had "lied about his convictions" during application forms relating to his involvement with the theatre company and had shown an "unhealthy interest" in the girl.

Charles Lander, defending, told the court: "There was a lengthy period of compliance. In relation to the previous suspended sentence, he complied fully.

"Because of his criminality, he lost his employment. More significantly, he has lost his home.

"The biggest effect on him is being apart from his wife and two young children. Since January this year, he has been in custody.

"It has been a difficult four months for him. It is his first experience of custody.

"When his daughter first joined the theatre group, he never had ulterior motives. She enjoyed him being there, and he joined the theatre group."

Thompson, who was supported by his wife in the public gallery, admitted two counts of breaching a sexual offences prevention order. Appearing via video link to HMP Altcourse, he was jailed for two years.

Sentencing, Judge Louise Brandon said: "It is quite clear that you had a completely inappropriate interest in her. You stalked her Facebook page in incognito mode while on bail in the hope that you would not be detected.

"You lied on your application form to prevent safeguarding from taking place, and you withheld what you were doing from your offender manager. You appear to be obsessed with her.

"I take into account your problems with your mental health and the impact on your family. I accept that you became involved in the theatre group because of your daughter's interest and not because you were actively looking to offend."

Thompson was also handed a 10-year restraining order. He will be required to sign the sex offenders' register for the same period.

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