Dad-of-two arranged to meet 13-year-old at McDonalds for sex – Lancs Live

A dad-of-two arranged to meet a 13-year-old girl at McDonald’s so he could take her back to his house for sex.

Gareth Rogers wanted “Lily” to be his “friend with benefits” when his wife was at work and his children were in day care.

The married 41-year-old even told the child he wouldn’t need to wear a condom because he’d undergone a vasectomy.

But the paedophile, of Easton Road, New Ferry, was actually talking to an undercover police officer the whole time.

And when he turned up at the McDonald’s restaurant in Hunts Cross, the pervert was stopped in his car and arrested.

Liverpool Crown Court heard an officer created the decoy profile on messaging app Kik Messenger on November 15, 2019, reports the Echo.

David Watson, prosecuting, said Lily received a message from GDR1980 on January 22, 2020, who said he was 39 and from Wirral.

Rogers said: “Looking to chat, flirt, maybe more, hoping to hear from you soon, Gareth.”

They exchanged messages as Rogers went on to say he wanted to swap nude photos, he worked from home for a software company and Lily should delete their chats.

Mr Watson said Rogers asked Lily “if she did anything to herself” – “suggestive the prosecution say of sexual behaviour” – and the officer noted he had already been a member of Kik Messenger for 441 days.

On January 23, Lily reiterated she was 13, but Rogers requested a photo of her, which was declined, then sent a headshot of himself.

Mr Watson told the court: “He said he was looking for someone to help him out of the rut his wife had created.”

On January 27, Rogers told Lily because of their ages he had to be “careful” and on January 30 said she had been a “tease”.

On February 18 he told her he was “looking for a friend with benefits”, before asking what type of sex she was prepared to have, specifying three different types.

The prosecutor said: “He suggested meeting Lily, who told him she was off school. He specified the dates that were best for him as his wife was in work and his children were in day care.”

On February 19, Rogers made an arrangement to meet her two days later at McDonald’s, between 9.30am and 10am.

Mr Watson said: “The defendant said it if was going to be her first time they could do as little or as much as she wished.

“The defendant told Lily he had a vasectomy and therefore a condom would not be required.”

Rogers also reassured Lily he would be “gentle” and requested nude photos, which he said would help prepare her to get over the “hurdle”.

On February 20 he asked whether she was a police officer or connected to police, but he went ahead with the meet.

He was arrested in Hunts Cross the following morning, when his phone was seized before he was interviewed.

Mr Watson said: “He claimed he was going to meet Lily to tell her that nothing would happen between them.

“In fact, say the prosecution, the last message he sent suggested she order some food so they could eat it in his car on the way back to his house.”

Rogers then confessed he thought Lily was 13, said he was “stupid” and he “didn’t know why he hadn’t stopped sooner”.

Rogers admitted attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming and attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

He also admitted taking, possessing and distributing one Category C indecent image of a child.

Cheryl Mottram, defending, said her client, who has no previous convictions, was “genuinely remorseful”.

She said: “He can offer no real explanation as to why he engaged in the chat that he did during the period of time that he did and he finds it difficult in his own mind to reconcile his behaviour during this period of time with the man he’s been up to that point.”

Ms Mottram said “fortunately” the girl wasn’t real, but his actions had “far reaching consequences, not just for himself”.

She said Rogers’ wife had suffered “taunts” from people in the community who were aware of what he was in court for.

The lawyer said his partner had been left to struggle on her own with two young children and found it “very emotionally draining” as a single mum, but Rogers “has only himself to blame”.

Ms Mottram said her client was no longer working, but as the main “breadwinner”, was now borrowing money from his dad to cover their mortgage and bills.

She said Rogers hoped to “put this behind him”, “address deficits in his thinking” by undertaking courses in prison and when released from jail, be reunited with his family and his wife, who “remains supportive of him”.

Judge Anil Murray said Rogers believed he was talking with a 13-year-old girl when he arranged to meet and told Lily he was “throbbing for her”.

He said: “I understand the devastation this must have on your family, but as Ms Mottram says, I’m afraid that is your fault.

“You’ve left your wife struggling with the children.”

However, the judge said he had read a letter from Rogers’ wife “to say she has forgiven you” and “otherwise you’re a wonderful father”.

Jailing him for two years and four months, Judge Murray said Rogers must sign on the Sex Offenders Register and comply with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years.

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