UK

Nurse jailed after paedophile hunters caught him sending sexual images to girl

Phillip Hill who was jailed after being caught by a paedophile hunter group messaging a child decoy account (South Wales Police)
Phillip Hill who was jailed after being caught by a paedophile hunter group messaging a child decoy account (South Wales Police) Phillip Hill who was jailed after being caught by a paedophile hunter group messaging a child decoy account (South Wales Police)

A nurse has been jailed after paedophile hunters caught him sending explicit images and sexual messages to a child decoy account they set up.

Phillip Hill, 54, from Pontlliw, Swansea contacted who he thought was a 13-year-old girl called Sophie over Facebook Messenger in January this year.

Over a number of days, the anaesthetic theatre assistant, who worked at Morrison Hospital in South Wales, tried to persuade the young girl to send indecent pictures of herself to him.

He sent several graphic photos and videos of himself to the account, including ones taken while he was at work wearing his scrubs.

Hill was later confronted by the vigilante group outside the hospital and arrested by South Wales Police officers.

A total of 288 extreme pornographic images of bestiality were then found on devices seized from him home. They had been downloaded since 2013.

At Swansea Crown Court on Thursday, Hill’s defence said the defendant believed his behaviour in messaging the child had been triggered by the recent death of his mother.

However, Judge Paul Thomas said the material found on his tablet showed Hill had been “sexually extremely deviant” for at least a decade.

Prosecuting the case, Ashanti Walton, said Hill pleaded guilty to all the charges against him including attempting to communicate sexually with a child, attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity, attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act, and possession of extreme images.

Ms Walton said the offences relating to the child were committed between January 24-26 and explained they were charged as attempts due to the account being a decoy.

Andrew Evans, defending, argued for his client’s sentence be suspended and said he could engage with services in the community to deal with his behaviours and issues with pornography.

Mr Evans said: “In my submission there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation in so far as he’s already had six months in Parc Prison to reflect upon the decisions that he made, and the impact that those decisions have had not only upon himself, but on others. Because, up until his arrest, he was living, seemingly, a normal family life with his partner and son.

“This is a difficult case and, in many ways, a surprising case as this is a defendant who was in a responsible post, living a normal family life who through his own actions and decisions destroyed his character, his career and his family.”

Sentencing Hill, Judge Thomas said: “In the early part of this year you went online to speak to who you firmly believed was a 13-year-old girl called Sophie.

“As it happened, and unbeknownst to you, it was not a real child. She was a decoy.

“There are indecent photographs showing you in your scrubs at work and it is clear from the chronology of when you were confronted by the vigilante group that you were sending such messages whilst at work.

“I am told candidly by you that your work as an anaesthetic theatre assistant involved children.

“There’s no suggestion that anything untoward happened but, with knowledge of your proclivities and interests, that is a concerning feature.

“Following your arrest, you were found by the police to have 288 images depicting, among other things, sex between animals – dogs and horses – and human beings.

“There’s also a suggestion that you were searching terms such as ‘incest’, ‘Down’s syndrome’, and ‘dead’.

“The only conclusion I’m afraid I can reach Mr Hill is that you are a man who, at least for the last 10 years, has been sexually extremely deviant, at least in your interests if not in your acts.”

Hill was jailed for two years and three months and is be expected to serve half the term in prison and half on licence.

The judge ordered that Hill’s devices not be returned to him and placed him under a 10-year sexual harm prevention order. He will also be required to sign onto the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Detective Inspector Carl Price said: “His [Hill’s] behaviour clearly demonstrates a risk to children, and it is quite right that he has been given a custodial sentence for his actions.

“We will continue in our commitment to bring offenders like Phillip Hill to justice.”

Alex Scott of the CPS said the case was a “stark reminder of the dangers that children can face on social media”.