Paedophile's house trashed and sprayed with graffiti

David Hampson, formerly of Pennard Avenue in Huyton
-Credit: (Image: Merseyside Police)

A paedophile's house was trashed and daubed with graffiti after his activities on Facebook were revealed.

Using his pink iPhone, David Hampson exchanged a series of vile messages with an account he believed belonged to a 13-year-old. He was jailed on his 60th birthday today over the lurid conversations.

Liverpool Crown Court heard this afternoon, Friday, that the defendant had contacted a decoy Facebook account set up by paedophile hunter group Sacred Souls on March 31 this year. Hampson, formerly of Pennard Avenue in Huyton, was informed that the supposed girl was aged 13, but nevertheless went on to send her a string of lewd messages over the course of the next four days.

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Louise Santamera, prosecuting, described how he was "initially friendly", but "at times rather persistent and insistent". The pervert subsequently "encouraged her to take her knickers off" and "asked her to touch herself between her legs".

Evidence of his messages was passed on to a second volunteer group, Stop UK, who informed Merseyside Police. Officers then attended Hampson's home on April 4 after a "large crowd gathered outside" in order to "protest against" him, having "somehow or other found out" about his behaviour.

He was arrested at the scene, with a pink iPhone, a silver iPad and a second blue mobile being seized. The then 59-year-old confessed to PCs that he had been responsible for the explicit conversations, but gave no comment to detectives under interview and refused to hand over his pin number.

Ken Heckle, defending, told the court that his client was "shameful and very embarrassed", adding: "What a way to spend one's 60th birthday. Sadly it is the defendant's 60th today, in custody.

"When challenged, he does accept sexual gratification. He wants to change his life around. He needs help. He regrets what he has done and he is remorseful.

"While I do not criticise for a second the work that these organisations do, what I do criticise is how they sometimes try to challenge and confront defendants. That is what happened.

"A crowd has not turned up out of the blue. They were trying to get further admissions or putting evidence to him, and it soon became common knowledge.

"The only reason that no bail application was made and he was remanded into custody was for his own safety. His flat has been damaged and daubed.

"He cannot go back there. He has lived there for 26 years.

"His mum lived there and he took over the tenancy. He has been uprooted.

"He has served just over seven weeks in custody for the very first time, in very difficult circumstances. This is a man capable of rehabilitation, evidence by his lack of convictions recently.

"This seems to be a lonely man. Alcohol has played a part."

Hampson admitted attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child. Appearing via video link to HMP Altcourse, he was imprisoned for two years.

Sentencing, Judge Stuart Driver KC said: "There is a factor to your communications in this case that the court does not see in many cases of this kind. Your messages were manipulative and persistent, with a large number of them sent over a period of four days.

"You are of previous good character, and there was not a real child in this case. This is your first custodial sentence.

"I observe that you do present a risk to the public. It is my judgement that the particular factors of this case are such that appropriate punishment can only be achieved by immediate custody."

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