Perverted 75-year-old Maurice McCullough of Wythenshawe, Manchester was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for grooming a 13-year-old into having sex with him.
The incident began in October of 2013 when McCullough met a 12-year-old girl – whose name will not be released – on the internet.
He first tricked her into believing that he was a 16-year-old boy, but when he convinced her to meet up with him at a park, she soon uncovered that he was actually an older man.
McCullough still didn’t fess up. He continued to lie about his age, only this time claiming to be a 46-year-old.
As the time ensued, the underage girl eventually turned 13. At this point, he had gained her trust and convinced her to meet again, only this time at a hotel. The girl agreed, and the two eventually engaged in sexual activity.
Their sexual liaison continued until November 2014 when a concerned citizen saw the two at a park. The witness – who later received an award of $400 – believed their behavior was odd and immediately notified police.
Maurice McCullough, from Wythenshawe in Greater Manchester, befriended his victim when she was aged 12. http://t.co/SAeqSODBAF
— NewsSnap (@NewsSnap) March 23, 2015
As a result, McCullough was taken into custody for questioning and he ultimately confessed to grooming the 13-year-old via internet to get her to have sex with him.
He was arrested and charged with 11 counts of child sex.
When the elderly man appeared in Liverpool Crown Court, Judge Warnock sentenced him to 10 years behind prison bars.
“You courted your victim via the internet when she was 12 years old and you were in your 70s. You tricked her into believing you were 16 years old.”
“The case against you is utterly overwhelming. This is one of the worst cases I’ve ever had the misfortune to deal with.”
“She was physically injured by you.”
“You corrupted a child, you stole her childhood, you may have damaged her psychologically for the rest of her life.”
The victim’s mother spoke with reporters after learning about her daughter’s encounter with the elderly man. In a statement, she stated as follows.
“The visit from the police to tell us our daughter had been groomed and abused was like a bullet; it shattered our lives.”
“My daughter had not shown any outward signs of being upset or distressed, so the news was completely unexpected.”
“He had taken away her innocence, her childhood, gone forever.”
“We’re a family in pieces, trying to keep it together.”
Sources say the 13-year-old girl has tried to do harm to herself after she was bullied in school when students learned of the incident.
Chief Superintendent Julie Cooke also spoke with reporters and said, “This was an horrendous case which has left an entire family traumatized and in shock. Maurice McCullough is a sexual predator who went to extraordinary lengths to groom his victim, posing as a teenage boy online and communicating with her for weeks in order to gain her trust.”
She continued as follows.
“He then went on to abuse her over a period of months. It is truly every parent’s worst nightmare.”
“This case highlights how children can be exploited on social media sites without realising anything is wrong until it is too late. It also shows how important it is to know what your children are doing online and to encourage them to speak to you about the friendships they are making.”
The Chef also stated “Child Sexual Exploitation (‘CSE’) is a terrible crime which can affect any family, anywhere. We are, however, determined to play our part in tackling the problem. Only last week, as part of National CSE Awareness Day, we helped to launch, Listen To My Story, a campaign and website which is there to raise awareness of CSE among young people, parents, grandparents, in fact every single one of us.”
McCullough will now be a sex offender for the remainder of his life.
He is currently serving 10 years behind bars, but since he admitted to the child sex charges, he may complete less than 10 years.
[Image courtesy of Manfredl Taglilavoro/Flickr]