A Fife pervert who told a “12-year-old girl” he wanted to dress as Santa and sit her on his lap was exposed in a Christmas Eve sting by paedophile hunters.
Neil Rawlinson believed he was speaking to a pre-teen but was actually speaking to an adult from the group Forbidden Scotland.
After instigating contact with the “girl’s” social media profile, Rawlinson engaged in an increasingly sexualised chat.
The then-68-year-old made no effort to hide his age, displaying it on his own profile.
At a hearing at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court Rawlinson, who is currently remanded in custody, admitted a number of vile charges.
He asked a sheriff to keep him behind bars pending sentencing, claiming it would be too hard to be released on bail, only to be sent back to prison again.
Sick chats begin
Fiscal depute Joanne Ritchie said the woman behind the fake child’s profile, in the name of Beth Blackwood, had set up accounts on Wink, WhatsApp and Facebook using a doctored picture of consenting group members as the profile image.
She said: “At 4pm on November 11 2021 the witness was at her home address when she received a message on Wink from Neil Rawlinson.
“His picture was of an older male and the accused stated his age was 58 years old.
“The message said ‘Hi Beth, Hope you are as good as you look’.”
When she replied giving her age as only 12, he replied: “Don’t mind that as long as you don’t mind chatting to an older man.”
Rawlinson asked her questions about her school life, said he would love to meet her in person and said he wanted to carry out sexual activities with her.
Before sending a picture of his genitals, Rawlinson wrote: “Strictly speaking you shouldn’t have seen a penis at 12 but you might see one in biology so what’s the difference.”
He added: “I’m naked because I want to be naked with you”.
Confronted at home
Rawlinson moved the conversation to WhatsApp and shortly before Christmas asked the “child” if he had written a letter to Santa, adding he could get a Santa suit so she could sit on his lap.
Days later on December 24, three members of Forbidden Scotland arrived at Rawlinson’s home and broadcast their confrontation live on Facebook.
Rawlinson later told police he thought the fake account was that of a 21-year-old woman engaging in “age play”.
On searching Rawlinson’s devices, police found a number of category B and C indecent images of girls aged 11 to 15, all of them inaccessible, as well as other sick material featuring underage girls.
Rawlinson, 59, of Baird Crescent, Leven – who appeared from prison by video link sporting a full white beard – asked to remain in custody in the interim.
He told Sheriff Robert More: “I feel I’m engaging better with the system.
“If I was out I might go back to hiding myself away.”
He admitted sending sexually explicit messages and an image of his naked penis to a person he believed to be a child under 13, but who was really an adult, from his home address between November 11 and December 18 2021.
He further admitted taking or making indecent images of children between July 2018 and December 24 2021.
A plea of not guilty to possession of child abuse images was accepted by the Crown.
He was remanded in custody ahead and placed on the Sex Offenders Register in the interim.
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