A Hendon man already convicted of child sex offenses has been up in court again after having targeted a 12-year-old girl on Facebook with messages described as “disgusting”.
John Gibson, a former male nurse, reportedly sent the minor 37 elicit messages, including asking to see her topless and sending a photograph of his penis. His previous conviction involved attempting to engage in sexual communication with another girl of the same age, but it was a decoy profile run by paedophile hunters.
Gibson, who worked in mental health, claimed he committed the crime due to having “alcohol induced blackouts” and had previously been jailed for three years and two months for the offences in relation to the decoy. However, he is now back in court for these additional offenses. A judge at Newcastle Crown Court extended his sentence by six months.
The court heard the girl was contacted on Facebook in February 2021, Gibson using a secret messaging app to send some of them. He asked if she was in bed and if she would send him a photograph, told her she was beautiful and sent her a picture showing his penis, adding: “I want to see you topless, send a naked photo and I will leave you alone. Show me your body, you’re gorgeous.”
Paul Cross, prosecutor, said: “She thought it was weird and felt disgusted. She put her phone on silent and blocked him and told her mother.
“Police were informed and he said he didn’t know if he was guilty because he was full of drink at the time. He said he suffers blackouts and had previously sent messages to all Facebook contacts which resulted in him losing his job as a mental health nurse.” When shown the messages he sent, he said he felt sick and guilty.
The child said in a victim impact statement: “I find this very difficult to talk about. It’s made me wary of strangers in case this happens again.
“Straight afterwards I felt really down and stopped going out with friends and I no longer felt safe. I sometimes think about it and get upset but I try to ignore it. He took away my confidence.”
Gibson, 51, formerly of Hastings Street, Sunderland, was jailed for three years and two months last January after admitting attempting to cause a child to engage in sexual activity, attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act and attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child. Those offences related to a decoy 12-year-old and he asked for sexual pictures of her, sent a picture of his genitals and suggested they meet in a hotel for sex.
For the latest offences, he admitted two offences of engaging in sexual communication with a child. Judge Robert Adams, who imposed the original sentence, added a further six months but told him he will only have to serve half of it in custody.
Fiona Lamb, defending, said he has completed a sex offender treatment course and has been working in the tailors department in HMP Northumberland.