Sunderland man jailed over sex with underage girl who he groomed on Facebook

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A sick paedophile from Sunderland has been jailed over a series of crimes involving underage girls.

Gary Culmer, 30, spoke to girls as young as 12 online and met up and had sex with another shortly after her 14th birthday.

Newcastle Crown Court heard today that Culmer spoke to young girls over Facebook using different aliases.

Ann Richardson prosecuting said that Culmer of Davison Avenue, Silksworth, spoke to young girls as far away as Chesterfield and was responsible for a countrywide spate of offences.

He was caught after Facebook alerted the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre in November 2014 that they had frozen Culmer’s account due to unacceptable sexual conduct with children.

When police arrived at his home, which he shared with his mother, they asked him if he knew why they were there, and he replied: ‘It’s about talking to 15-year-old girls, should I not have a solicitor here?’

Police seized a Kindle and mobile phones, where they found 145,000 images and 776 movies - 727 of which were of children, and others including beastiality.

In total Culmer had spoken to six underage girls and even told one to perform a sex act with a household object.

After one girl refused to give Culmer his number he blackmailed her, saying he would show her naked pictures to her friends and family.

After grooming another girl over Facebook and pretending to be a 17-year-old, he arranged to meet her for sex.

The court heard that the girl, who had recently turned 14, was taken to a shed, where they had sex while Culmer videoed it after giving her vodka and bringing condoms.

He then gave her £20 and said it was a birthday gift.

He had been receiving images from the girl and told her that he had forwarded them on to a friend, which the victim thought was strange.

He continued contact with the girl, but became annoyed after she told him she had a new boyfriend.

He threatened to kill himself if she did not go back to him.

They met up again and she told him she did not want any more contact with him.

Culmer then sent a message to the girl pretending to be a friend, saying that he had killed himself and she was to blame.

The girl said in a statement that she did not sleep properly for nine months afterwards, thinking she was to blame for his supposed death.

After his arrest in November 2014, Culmer persisted again in talking to another underage girl and told her that he wanted to meet her at a hotel for sex.

He was re-arrested in early March after more offences came to light.

Robert Spragg, defending, said: “Culmer is a lonely man who considers himself inadequate.

“Between 2009 and 2010 he received a rehabilitation order after exposing himself on a train.

“He did at least attend these sessions until the end.

“He has an unhealthy interest in young girls and has turned into himself after years of feeling inadequate and does accept he has to change and hopes to receive help in the long run.”

At an earlier hearing Culmer pleaded guilty to meeting a child under 16 following sexual grooming, sexual activity with a child under 16, two counts of causing a child between 13 and 15 to engage in sexual activity, two of blackmail, two of making an indecent photograph of a child and possessing indecent photographs of a child.

Culmer was sentenced to eight years in prison and was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order and prohibited from using any device that can access the internet unless supervised.

He will also serve a further four years on licence once he is released.

Judge Paul Sloan QC said when sentencing Culmer: “You targeted and befriended these girls and they are trying hard to deal with what you did.

“One girl finds it hard to meet new people and has considered suicide as well as self harm.

“I believe you to be a danger to the wider public.”