Friends turn in Ilkeston net pervert Ian May who preyed on girl, 15
A PAEDOPHILE who preyed on a 15-year-old girl was turned in by his friends when they discovered his obscene messages to the teenager.
Ian May, 39, who bombarded the youngster with messages on Facebook, was arrested after his friend, Lauren Whatley, became suspicious about why he was hiding his laptop.
Now, after May was jailed, police are asking any other youngsters who think they may have been preyed on by him to come forward.
Lauren, for whom May was a babysitter when she was a child, said: "I just couldn't believe some of the things he was saying.
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"It disgusted me, for somebody I had known for such a long time. It was a shock."
May was living at Lauren's mother's house, in Chellaston, but was out when police came looking for him in connection with another offence.
Lauren said he then asked another friend if he could "stash" his laptop at their house.
Lauren's mum, Maria, became suspicious and asked her to check the laptop.
Lauren said she found the messages to the 15-year-old and told her mum, who was "absolutely furious".
Lauren said May used to look after her and her sister, "although he never did anything untoward".
"We just thought he was a little bit strange."
A police spokeswoman said: "Officers are now investigating whether May contacted other girls and want anyone who believes they were contacted by him, to get in touch."
Jailing May for 14 months, Judge Andrew Hamilton said that when the girl he contacted had told him she was 15, he had continued to "pester her, asking her to expose herself".
Judge Hamilton said: "You continued to make obscene comments to her."
Derby Crown Court was told that the girl had received a friend request from May, in June this year, and she had accepted it because he said he was from the Ilkeston area and she thought she might know him.
Grace Hale, prosecuting, said May had then sent her a message saying: "Oh, you're so fit."
"She had responded by calling him 'a paedo' and asked him to stop sending messages," said Miss Hale.
But May continued to contact her, with the messages each time getting more offensive. She told him she was only 15 and threatened to call the police.
She then did call the police. But May was not arrested until September, after the Whatleys contacted officers themselves.
Miss Hale said: "He asked some friends of his, he said he wanted to move his laptop because he didn't want police to find it.
"But his friends checked the laptop and reported it to the police."
She said May had a "troubling" history, which included "making obscene calls to nursing homes and business premises, wanting to speak to women. And he has various offences for harassment".
May, of no fixed address, admitted inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
Justin Ablott, for May, said: "He was horrified by any suggestion that he would actually have met the girl. It was an anonymous way of finding interaction with a woman.
This defendant has feelings of inadequacy following the breakdown of two serious relationships he has had."
May must sign the sex offenders register for 10 years and obey a sexual offences prevention order, which includes banning him from using the internet to contact any girl under the age of 16.
Anyone with information about May can contact police on 101 or anonymously on 0800 555 111.