‘I can’t believe I’ve been so stupid’ – Paedophile caught red-handed trying to meet a child in a Wakefield car park

‘I can’t believe I’ve been so stupid’ – Paedophile caught red-handed trying to meet a child in a Wakefield car park

Carl Mardel, who has no fixed address, used a dating app to message two girls, ages 12 and 14, earlier this year.

After vivid discussions of sex with the two profiles, he attempted to meet one of the girls in a Wakefield parking lot.

But Mardel was unaware these were decoy profiles being run by a pedophile hunter group and he was quickly arrested by West Yorkshire Police officers who today hailed his prison sentence.

Carl Mardel was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.

At a sentencing hearing at Leeds Crown Court, it was revealed that Mardel used a mobile dating app earlier this year.

The pedophile hunter group set up two decoy profiles on the app – claiming to be a 12-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl.

Mardel texted the alleged 12-year-old for two months, asking for intimate details about her body and explaining the sexual intercourse.

The 14-year-old Bait’s profile was messaged by Mardel in October, where he again asked for intimate details about the victim and suggested they meet for sex.

Mardel visited the girl in a Pontefract car park before being arrested by police on October 20 this year.

During his arrest, Mardel said, “I can’t believe I was that stupid. I ruined my life and that of my wife and daughter.”

The court heard how the defendant was jailed in 2000 for violently raping a 15-year-old girl and was only removed from the sex offender register in 2019.

Mardel had pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to date a girl under the age of 16 and two counts of sexual communication with children.

James Littlehales defended Mardel, saying in court: “He is determined to deal with his offensive behaviour.

“I accept that there is still a considerable way to go.

“He is determined to use his sentence wisely and address his criminal conduct.

“Admitting that he ruined his life shows he understands the seriousness of what he did.”

Recorder Mark McKone sentenced Mardel to two years and eight months in prison with an extended license term of six years. Mardel was issued a Sexual Violence Prevention Order and will remain on the sex offender registry for life.

Rec McKone told Mardel, “They had extensive contact with two decoys who pretended to be girls, ages 12 and 14.”

DS Ben Howley of the Kirklees Police Online Investigation Team said: “Mardel is a committed sex offender and we welcome the judgment handed down by the court today.

“He had every intention of committing serious sex offenses against what he believed to be a minor woman after snooping on online conversations, but now he faces jail time instead.

“Online child sex offenses are taken incredibly seriously by West Yorkshire Police, with all offenses being thoroughly investigated.

“For more information on spotting signs of online grooming and sex crimes, visit the West Yorkshire Police website.”

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