A man has been convicted and jailed for a string of grooming and sexual offences.
Paul Sullivan, 50 (15.01.69) Cheshire Street E2, was found guilty of the following charges today, Friday, 6 September at Snaresbrook Crown Court:
Offender 18 or over cause / incite a girl 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity – penetration
Offender 18 or over cause / incite a girl 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity - no penetration
Five counts of Adult meet girl under 16 following sexual grooming
Supply a controlled drug of Class B – Cannabis
Two counts of Possess a controlled drug of Class B - cannabis resin
Make indecent photograph / pseudo-photograph of a child- six (6) category A moving images
Make indecent photograph / pseudo-photograph of a child - one (1) category B still image
Make indecent photograph / pseudo-photograph of a child - five (5) category C still images
The court heard that Sullivan befriended five 14-year-old girls in a park where he supplied them with alcohol, cigarettes, cannabis and exchanged phone numbers.
He later invited the victims to his home where he again provided alcohol and cigarettes during each visit. The court also heard that over a two week period he would be visited by these children where games such as ‘spin the bottle’ would be played to find out sexual information about the girls.
The victims later told police that Sullivan would make comments to deliberately make them feel uncomfortable, and on one occasion asked one of them if she would have sex with him if they were alone.
The offending came to light when the mother of one of the victims called police after seeing messages on her daughter’s phone, which indicated she had been attending an older male’s address.
An investigation then began by the Met's Central East Proactive Exploitation Unit.
Sullivan was identified and arrested in Loughton on 18 July 2018 and a number of items seized from his home.
Analysis of a laptop and computers found a number of indecent images of children, some of which he had attempted to hide or delete. He also had in his possession homemade videos containing indecent images of children.
After extensive telephone data enquiries a further four child victims were identified and interviewed.
On Friday, 6 September, Sullivan was found guilty of the above charges and was sentenced to four years' imprisonment - he was also issued with a lifetime Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
The Judge praised the exemplary work of the Exploitation Team and especially the Officer in the Case who will receive a Judges Commendation.
Detective Constable Andy Owen, from the Central East Exploitation Team, said: “Paul Sullivan is a dangerous offender who targeted vulnerable young girls for his own sexual gratification and we are pleased he has now been brought to justice.
"The victims and their families have shown great courage providing us with vital evidence which has led to this conviction. We hope this case demonstrates our commitment to identifying perpetrators of child sexual exploitation and encourages any other victims of this type of crime to come forward.”