predator | 

Dublin paedophile jailed for grooming underage girl following UK sting operation

David McGregor with an address in Smithfield travelled to Leeds to have sex with the girl

David McGregor

Clodagh MeaneySunday World

A Dublin man has been jailed for grooming an underage girl following a UK sting operation.

David McGregor with an address in Smithfield was caught messaging what he thought was an underage teenage girl named “Sophie” on Facebook.

He spoke of his intention of becoming her boyfriend and having sex with her.

He then made plans to meet her in a hotel in Leeds and travelled to Leeds Bradford Airport on June 20th 2022.

Unbeknownst to him at the time, Sophie didn’t really exist.

Upon arriving in England, the 49-year-old was met by Predator Exposure, a so-called ‘paedophile hunter’ group.

The group, who hunt down and expose suspected predators, previously exposed former RTE producer Kieran Creaven who was recently convicted of child sex offences.

When confronted, McGregor was accused of grooming a 13-year-old but he denied knowing he was speaking to a child.

They also accused him of booking a hotel for two nights to ‘rape’ the underage girl.

The group also read out messages which they claimed the Dubliner sent to the person posing as the teenager.

Messages from him allegedly said that he “would show her a good time,” and “will teach her sexual things.”

He appeared before Leeds Magistrates Court charged with arranging/facilitating the commission of a child sex offence contrary to Section 14 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

At sentencing, prosecutor Gareth Andrew told the court: “On May 10, he made his intentions clear, saying they would ‘make love’ when he came over.”

"He made graphic remarks about what he wanted to do."

McGregor pleaded guilty to arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence and attempted sexual communication with a child.

Mitigating, Gillian Batts told the court: “He says he suffered a significant bereavement in 2019 when his mother died and, during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, he lived on his own and was extremely isolated and was drinking to excess.”

"He became dependant on alcohol.”

"He has seen his GP back in Ireland and was given medication for depression.”

"He has been on remand since his arrest. It is his first experience of custody and he has found it very difficult.”

"He has been away from his family.”

Upon sentencing David McGregor to three years and three months in prison, Judge Simon Batiste said: “You made contact with a decoy profile known as Sophie.”

"She indicated from the start that she was 13 and living in Leeds – you were aware of this. You made clear to her you wanted to engage in sexual acts – your intentions were clear.”

"This was a visit you undertook to satisfy your paedophilic needs,” he continued.

"There was a significant degree of planning, there was grooming behaviour and a disparity in age.”

"You were a somewhat isolated individual, and you were in alcohol when communications took place. You travelled to another country to commit this offence.”

Today's Headlines

More World Crime

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices