Paul Hillier

A man from Sale has been jailed for more than three years for online grooming offences.

Today (Thursday 17 December 2020) at Minshull Street Crown Court, Paul Hillier (01/03/1967) of Mersey Road, Sale was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison after pleading guilty to: inciting a child under 16 to engage in sexual activity, engaging in sexual communication with a child, causing a child under 16 to watch a sexual act, attempting sexual communication with a child, attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act and attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

In September 2018, officers received a report that Paul Hillier had been sending sexually explicit messages and imagery to a girl he believed to be 12-years-old online.

An investigation was launched and Hillier was arrested and subsequently released under investigation whilst his mobile devices were examined.

Whilst under investigation, GMP received two further reports in July 2020 that Hillier had been engaging in further explicit online conversations with two girls he believed to be 13 and 14-years-old.

The three accounts Hillier had been messaging were decoys.

He was later re-arrested and charged with six counts of child sex offences.

Detective Constable, Emma Cyprien of GMP’s Trafford District said: “Hillier willingly engaged with these accounts to satisfy his own sexual perversion, even after they had declared to him that they were underage. Thankfully on these occasions, the accounts were decoys, however had these been real children; Hillier could have caused serious and long-lasting harm.

“We welcome today’s sentence and now Hillier has plenty of time to think about how harmful his predatory behaviour is.

The exploitation of children is a top priority for GMP and we take reports of this nature incredibly seriously. We encourage anyone who has, or may know someone who has, been the victim of online grooming or any type of abuse to come forward and speak with police.”