Mother helped ‘devious and manipulative’ paedophile she met online to abuse children in return for new shoes and a ring

  • Sex offender Michael Cropton met the woman on internet dating website
  • They went to a pub together before he bombarded her with texts
  • Her replies suggest she agreed to help him in return for gifts
  • Cropton has now been jailed for 20 years for series of sexual offences
  • Woman, who cannot be identified, given a two-year, eight-month sentence

'Perverted' Michael Cropton met a 'needy' woman on an internet dating site before convincing her to help him abuse two girls

‘Perverted’ Michael Cropton met a ‘needy’ woman on an internet dating site before convincing her to help him abuse two girls
A mother has been jailed after she helped a paedophile she met online to abuse two girls in return for shoes and a ring.
Michael Cropton, 42, met the 39-year-old woman on an internet dating site and persuaded her to assist him in abusing two girls.
A court heard Cropton bombarded the woman with texts demanding she help him and she replied: ‘If I say yes, do I get my ring and my shoes?’.
Cropton, of Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, was handed a 20-year sentence after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to sexually assault two girls.
The girls, both under the age of 11, told police officers he had touched them and kissed them.
Cropton also admitted four counts of rape, relating to a young boy under the age of 17.
The woman co-defendant, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to sexually assault the girls and was given two years and eight months behind bars.
Stephen Mooney, prosecuting, told Bristol Crown Court: ‘From July to September, 2013, nearly 12,000 texts passed between them.
‘The texts moved from sexually explicit to questions about girls she knew and whether she would be prepared to incorporate them into their sexual activities.
‘Ultimately, she succumbed to his requests and became a willing participant in sexual activity between him and the girls.’
The pair met on a dating website in 2013 before going to a local pub together. After meeting, Cropton began sending explicit messages, encouraging the woman to help him fulfil his sexual desires.
Rosaleen Collins, defending the woman, added: ‘There is, quite clearly, an emotional background. Many would call her needy.
‘She desperately wanted respect and love from male company. She was, in many ways, a sitting duck. He persuaded her to agree. She resisted time after time after time.
‘She told him about her abuse as a child. She was taken in by him. She was not able to recognise the manipulation to which she was being subjected.’
Cropton will serve an extended licence period, be placed on the sex offenders’ register and receive a Sexual Offenders Prevention Order (SOPO) to run indefinitely.
Both Cropton and the woman who helped him were jailed this week at Bristol Crown Court (pictured)

Both Cropton and the woman who helped him were jailed this week at Bristol Crown Court (pictured)
Sentencing, Judge Michael Roach, said: ‘The defendant met his co-accused in the summer of 2013 on a dating website.
‘She allowed him to sexually abuse girls and 12,000 texts were exchanged. The texts make horrific reading. The requests were brazen, persistent and highly manipulative. She accepts exposing the girls to the sexual abuse of her co-defendant.
‘She was subjected to a barrage of texts from the co-accused, pressing for her to allow her to sexually abuse the girls. She had been needy. She allowed herself to become involved in Mr Cropton’s perverted ambition.’
Speaking after the case, Det Insp Gary Stephens, of the Public Protection Unit, said: ‘This has been a distressing and harrowing investigation involving the horrific sexual abuse of children.
‘Michael Cropton is a devious and manipulative man who used classic grooming techniques to identify vulnerable children he could abuse.
‘He admitted these offences due to the overwhelming evidence against him which resulted from the hard work of the investigation team.
‘We believe there could be more victims out there and I hope the outcome of this case will encourage people to come forward and speak to us in confidence.
‘I would also appeal to anyone who has been in a relationship with Michael Cropton to please get in touch with us. Cropton is now in the right place and the community is a much safer place without him in it.’

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