A PAEDOPHILE from Yeovil who targeted children with homemade posters offering music lessons has been sentenced to four years in prison.
Paul Francis, 62, from Milford Park, Yeovil appeared at Taunton Crown Court yesterday (August 13), after earlier pleading guilty to engaging in non-penetrative sexual activity with a child aged nine, causing/inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity, and possessing indecent images of children.
Police also believe he may have targeted children in the Watchet and Williton areas while living there between 2008 and 2012.
The offences happened in March 2014 and an investigation was prompted by the courage of one of the victims who spoke to a PCSO who was visiting her school.
Francis had an encounter with a girl, nine-years-old, and gave her a letter advertising singing lessons.
She was encouraged to go to his home where he forced her to engage in inappropriate behaviour.
Francis also exchanged letters with the victim’s friend, a girl aged 10, who was left worried by the contents of the letters.
She spoke to a PCSO who was visiting her school and told her about the letters and her friend’s experience and an investigation was launched.
A search of Paul Francis’ home after he was arrested uncovered indecent images of children.
Posters were also found which come from his time living in west Somerset.
Detective Constable Andrew Tearle, from Taunton CID, said: “Paul Francis acted in a predatory manner to target young girls with promises of music lessons and being in a band.
"In reality, he exploited their innocent dreams to build relationships with them and abuse them.
"I hope that in receiving a lengthy custodial sentence he recognises the seriousness of his actions.
“Francis targeted his victims with hand-drawn posters advertising singing lessons in Yeovil and when we searched his house we found posters dating back to time spent living in west Somerset.
"My fear is that he may have committed offences in that area and I would encourage anyone who has concerns about the individual to get in touch and discuss them with us.”
If you have any information you want to report to the police, call DC Andy Tearle on 101.
Francis will also be placed on the sex offenders register for life after his release.