17th Sep, 2019

Former school governor escapes jail after trying to meet girl he groomed online and taking upskirt pictures of schoolgirls

Laura Kearns 6th Sep, 2019 Updated: 6th Sep, 2019

A DISGRACED former school governor who tried to meet a girl he had groomed online has escaped jail despite also taking ‘upskirt’ pictures of schoolgirls on a bus.

David Revell, who resigned as a governor of Myton School in Warwick after being trapped by a vigilante group and arrested, had pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a 12-year-old girl.

He also admitted engaging in sexual communication with a child, taking indecent pictures of children and making indecent images of children by downloading them.

But at Warwick Crown Court, Revell, 68, of Ebourne Close, Kenilworth, was given a 14-month prison sentence suspended for two years, with rehabilitation.

Judge Barry Berlin, who said he was giving him ‘the benefit of the doubt,’ ordered him to do 150 hours of unpaid work, to register as a sex offender for ten years, and pay £425 costs.

Prosecutor Andrew Wilkins said Revell travelled to Manchester to meet a 12-year-old girl he had been communicating with online.

But he was met by members of a paedophile hunter group who had set up a decoy profile of the supposed girl. The police were contacted and Revell was arrested.

His phone and his laptop were seized, and on them police found evidence of online conversations of a sexual nature with five girls, as he believed them to be.

He sent one girl attempted ‘upskirt’ pictures he had taken of schoolgirls on a bus, which Mr Wilkins said was concerning because he was a school governor at the time, and asked her to take similar pictures and send them to him.

His computer also contained 387 images of girls in naked or indecent poses which he had downloaded from the internet.

Amy Jackson, defending, said: “He offers no excuse for his offending.  He is disgusted and shocked with himself.  It is genuine remorse, and not just self-pity.”

Miss Jackson said Revell, who had a history of voluntary work, had not gone into school governing with any unlawful intention, and the role did not bring him into direct contact with children.

As a result of the offences, his family have cut all ties with him, which Miss Jackson said had been significant punishment.

And she added that since his arrest, Revell has completed work with the Lucy Faithful Foundation and Stop It Now, which both work with sex offenders, and has engaged with a psycho-analyst to address his offending.

Sentencing Revell, Judge Berlin told him: “You are 68 years of age, and you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.

“You were found to have been grooming children you knew were 10 to 13 years old, and had arranged to meet someone who you thought was 12.

“But there are mitigating factors.  You entered a plea of guilty at the earliest opportunity, you have shown remorse and, more importantly, you have taken active steps to address your problems.

“I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt.”

Child protection charity NSPCC is urging parents to speak to children about the risks they face online.

A spokesman said: “Revell is a sadly typical example of a dangerous predator who searches online for young and vulnerable victims.

“It is so important for parents and carers to speak to their children about their online lives, and help them understand the risks they face and where they can turn if they are worried about something.”

Call 0808 800 5002 for advice.

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