Olympics torchbearer exposed as pedophile after being lured into meeting a 14-year-old 'girl' for sex
Despite believing the 'girl' to be just 14 years old, he apparently 'turned the conversation towards sexual matters' within days
A torchbearer for the 2012 Olympics held in London was spared jail time after he met a 14-year-old girl at a railway station bringing along pizza, flowers, and Viagra hoping to have sex with her.
Pedophile hunters trapped 53-year-old Paul Drake after luring him into the station meet-up by posing as a young girl called "Claire" who told him that she was an underage virgin willing to meet him and travel all the way from Bournemouth to Scarborough. Drake intended to take the minor girl home for sex while his wife was away on a bachelorette party.
Previously, due to his charity work at Tesco, the 53-year-old was chosen to carry the Olympic torch in the run-up to the London 2012 games, reported Scarborough News.
After having an online chat about her favorite things, Drake turned up with a bouquet of daffodils, a pizza, and a certain "blue tablet" for himself assumed to be Viagra.
He sent her messages promising not to get her pregnant, asking her to wear his desired underwear, and fantasizing about taking her virginity before actually meeting her face-to-face.
However, the York Crown Court heard that he was confronted by pedophile vigilantes at Scarborough Railway Station in March in 'one of the most spectacular falls from grace that it's possible to imagine'.
Drake was given a four-month suspended incarceration after admittedly trying to influence a child into having sex and grooming her sexually after law enforcement arrested him on suspicion of a series of child sex offenses.
Furthermore, as the "pedophile hunters" exposed him at the station, Drake's work colleagues turned up for a train at almost the same time, causing further humiliation. He was later sacked from his job.
The 53-year-old was fooled into believing that the undercover decoy posing as a 14-year-old child online called "Claire" was a real person and was snared subsequently.
That being said, his defense team urged the prosecutor that after his arrest on March 24 this year, his marriage had ended and he was kicked out of his job by his employers that very day. He could also lose his home, according to them.
Reportedly, Drake had been visiting an adult chat site where he found the profile of a young woman named Claire, said Jonathan Sharp, the prosecutor for the case.
He said: "The defendant sent a message to the supposed 'Claire' and she responded. It was at that stage that "she" said she was 14 and was living with her mum in Bournemouth."
Despite believing the "girl" to be just 14 years old, he apparently "turned the conversation towards sexual matters" within days.
"He asked if he could text her about 'rude things' and, within a day or so, the text conversation progressed to him asking 'her' to visit him at his home address in Scarborough," he added. "He explored with 'her' the fact that she was a virgin and wholly sexually inexperienced."
When the "girl" told him that she was staying with her grandmother in Harrogate, Drake arranged a "rendezvous" at Scarborough Railway Station.
Sharp further informed that the vigilante outfit immediately nabbed him and "established (Drake's) identity, which wasn't difficult because he had been using his own name and his own photos on the messaging service."
Subsequently, the pedophile hunters called the police and live-streamed the scenes via Facebook.
Judge Andrew Stubbs QC told the 53-year-old: 'Your shame and disgrace are now complete.' Drake would have been sentenced for a period "measured in years" as he intended to take the "girl" back to his place and have sex with her, had it not been a fake profile created by the vigilante group.
However, Judge Stubbs ruled that his offenses were "out of character" and that there was never any risk of harm to the virtual child. And so, the pedophile was not sentenced to prison as he had no previous convictions.
Having said that, the 53-year-old was placed on the register for sex-offenders for a span of 10 years.
The ruling would further subject Drake to a sexual-harm prevention order by which his internet use and contact with underage females would be restricted. He has also been ordered to complete a sexual-offenders' programme to help with his mental state.
On June 18, 2012, as a part of the London Olympic Games, Drake took the torch through Filey to kickstart the event. The alleged pedophile was nominated by a colleague at Tesco after he raised significant funds for the company's charities that year.
Tesco's charity programme includes the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, the Alzheimer's Society, and the children's cancer charity organization CLIC Sargent.