Internet paedophile from Walsall jailed

A teenage paedophile detained during a police operation which led to the arrest of an American mother-of-four was jailed today.

Nicholas Wilde, 19, from Walsall, West Midlands, was arrested on June 11 last year after sending child sex abuse images to a 16-year-old girl he met in an internet chat room.



The girl and her mother contacted the police and Wilde was traced and subsequently arrested by officers from the child exploitation unit at West Midlands Police.



Wolverhampton Crown Court heard that detectives seized a computer and a memory stick from his bedroom, uncovering a collection of photographs at the most serious end of the child pornography scale involving children as young as 18-months-old.



The memory stick also contained footage of a woman in Maine abusing a young child - an act directed by Wilde as he watched via a webcam, the court heard.



Jailing Wilde for four years and eight months, Judge Hilary Watson said of the exchange with the American woman: "It was entirely for your benefit, at your direction, for the sexual gratification of Nicholas Wilde."



She said pre-sentence reports had highlighted "dysfunctional patterns of behaviour" and a "callous disregard" for the victims of sexual abuse.



Wilde, who has Asperger's Syndrome, was "obsessed" with downloading child pornography, leading to an "escalation of offending" in the months leading to his arrest, the judge said.



She told him: "You downloaded the material onto a memory stick which made it easy for you to access that material and I am satisfied that it had become a preoccupation, an obsession with you, and that is why over that period of time you had that burst of offending."



Wilde, of Holmbridge Grove, admitted making and distributing indecent photographs, as well as two charges of incitement to commit sexual assault on a child under 13.



The judge said his youth was "very worrying", adding: "You have your whole life ahead of you and the potential to reoffend is very great."



Wilde, who will serve his sentence at a Young Offenders Institution, will have his licence period extended by three years and must sign the Sex Offenders Register.



He was banned from working with children for life.