Indefinite jail for paedophile who targeted girl

A PAEDOPHILE who targeted a nine-year-old girl after watching her buy sweets at a Post Office has been jailed indefinitely after a judge described him as danger to young girls.

Keith Walsh followed the schoolgirl outside and offered her cash for sexual contact but the youngster rejected him saying, "Are you wrong in the head or something" before cycling off as he tried to grab her.

Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday Walsh had previous convictions for sex offences including being jailed for eight-and-a-half years in 1997 for indecent assaults and raping a 14-year-old girl.

Walsh, 54, of Conway Crescent, Batley, admitted two charges of inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity and was given an indeterminate prison sentence for public protection.

Sentencing Walsh, Judge Paul Hoffman said he had bad record of offences against young girls and was likely to continue as a danger for the foreseeable future.

Fortunately his latest target had been well brought up and "was a feisty little girl", said the judge.

He added: "Others might well have succumbed, she resisted your attempt to grab hold of her arm, but it doesn't take much imagination to think what might have happened if she had been a more submissive little girl and gone with you to some place of your choosing so you could have your way with her."

Ordering Walsh to serve a minimum of 18 months in jail minus the time spent on remand Judge Hoffman said: "I want to stress that by no means follows that you will receive parole after the expiry of that time."

He said the Parole Board would only consider release when Walsh was deemed safe, which was likely to be when he was very old, "when your sexual urges have disappeared or diminished."

Kirstie Watson, prosecuting, said Walsh was already in Batley Post Office when the girl entered and bought sweets last August.

He followed her out of the shop and offered her 5 to touch him indecently which she turned down. He then offered her 10 if she would go with him and let him touch her.

She cycled off as he tried to grab her and immediately told her mother what had happened. Walsh was identified from CCTV.

He told police he had been drinking and did not recall approaching the schoolgirl.