Earlier this month Franklyn John Williams pleaded guilty to attempted sexual communication with a child and on Friday he appeared before Truro Crown Court for sentencing.
The 75-year-old was told by Judge Simon Carr that he had “an entrenched sexual interest in children that will never go away”, after the court heard that he had a number of similar convictions dating back to 1993.
Williams, of Penrose Court, Chyandour Cliff, Penzance, was described as a known sex offender who was already the subject of the sexual harm prevention order.
This allowed police to make checks of his mobile phone and in June last year they found suspicious conversations between the defendant and a young person on Facebook Messenger, who he believed to be a nine or ten-year-old girl in the Philippines.
Prosecutor Judith Constable said messages dating between December 28, 2021 and June 5, 2022 spoke of her “sexy little bum” with kiss and heart emojis.
He went on to make lewd and suggestive comments in response to photos that were sent, including of a girl kissing the camera and with her mouth open, and sent an image of himself naked from the waist up.
Ms Constable said Williams described sending money to the mum of the victim in this offence.
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Martin Pearce, representing Williams, said the pensioner had “reached a low ebb” and was now seeking help.
“He doesn’t understand why he commits these offences. He knows they are wrong, but he is proactively seeking help for his actions,” said Mr Pearce.
Judge Carr said that given the background of offending, only a custodial sentence was appropriate.
He sentenced Williams to 15 months in prison, and he must serve at least half before being eligible for release to complete the remainder on licence.
Judge Carr renewed the sexual harm prevention order with some changes, and said that – unusually – this would be in place without a time limit.