Lorry driver set up Grindr date with boy “aged 14” at Derbyshire McDonald’s
A lorry driver told a paedophile hunter he believed to be a 14-year-old boy he met on gay dating app Grindr to “brush his teeth” before meeting for sex at a Derbyshire McDonald’s.
David Rees, 37, - who went by the name “Kinky Top” on the app - told an online decoy named “Kai” that “oral sex with another male would not hurt”.
Derby Crown Court heard how on January 10 last year Rees was waiting for the teen in his lorry near McDonald’s in Alfreton when he was met by police and arrested.
Prosecutor Jeremy Janes described how Rees used Grindr to meet up with other gay men “on a casual basis”.
However during an online conversation when Kai told Reece he was 14 Rees was “not deterred by this”.
Mr Janes told how during one message the defendant made references to “sucking a lollipop” and told the decoy to “brush his teeth and tongue well”.
The prosecutor said Rees claimed he was aware the Grindr profile was false and intended to meet the boy to “send him on his way with some wise advice”.
However Mr Janes said this did not explain the fact that Rees had already admitted a charge attempting to meet a boy under 16 years of age following grooming.
Richard Davies, defending, said Rees, who had no previous convictions, had recently separated from his partner of 10 years was trying to meet people online.
He added: “The defendant was not looking for people of that age when he went onto the website - he was looking for adult dating.”
The lawyer added that Rees - who lost his job when his employer discovered the truth - was “terrified” of a prison sentence.
He said: “A custodial sentence would have a devastating impact on him - and it will not rehabilitate this defendant or educate him.”
Suspending a 15-month jail term for two years Recorder Balraj Bhatia QC told Rees, of Solva, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, his offence was “a very serious one”.
He said: “You know what you did - you went on the internet, you pursued it and you pursued it over a relatively short period of time but it was with a view to meeting someone of tender years.
“It’s plain that sexual grooming had taken place because of the conversations you had with someone you believed was called Kai.
“It’s also plain that you still maintained that you were aware that this may not have been a legitimate profile but you know the reality of the situation.
“When you plead guilty to attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming you plead guilty on the basis that that’s what you went there for.”
However the judge noted that Rees had shown “genuine remorse” and the incident was “out of character”.
He said: "I accept this took place within the context of your background - a relationship with your partner of 10 years having ended.
“And I accept that over that following period you were perhaps at your lowest depths - having little or no contact with other people.”
Rees was also given 55 rehabilitation activity days, 150 hours’ unpaid work, made subject to police monitoring, a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and ordered to pay £500 court costs.