Former school governor from Warwick district is spared jail after grooming 12-year-old girl and taking ‘upskirt’ pictures of schoolgirls on a bus

A disgraced former school governor who tried to meet a girl he had groomed online has escaped being jailed despite also taking ‘upskirt’ pictures of schoolgirls on a bus.

David Revell, who resigned as a governor of Myton School in Warwick after being trapped by a 'paedophile hunter group' and arrested, had pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a 12-year-old girl.

David Revell.

David Revell.

He also admitted engaging in sexual communication with a child, taking indecent pictures of children and making indecent images of children by downloading them.

But at Warwick Crown Court, Revell (68) of Ebourne Close, Kenilworth, was given a 14-month prison sentence suspended for two years, with a rehabilitation activity.

Judge Barry Berlin, who said he was giving him ‘the benefit of the doubt,’ also ordered him to do 150 hours of unpaid work, to register as a sex offender for ten years, and to pay £425 costs.

Prosecutor Andrew Wilkins said the matters came to the attention of the police after Revell travelled to Manchester to meet a 12-year-old girl he had been communicating with online.

But in fact he was met by members of a paedophile hunter group who had set up a decoy profile of the supposed girl, and the police were contacted and Revell was arrested.

His phone and his laptop were seized, and on them the police found evidence of online conversations of a sexual nature with five girls, as he believed them to be.

Revell’s messages to one 13-year-old included telling her: “You look very hot. Love it that you’re so young.”

In his communication with the 12-year-old he had arranged to meet, he made it plain their conversation had to be kept private – because he would not want her to get in trouble.

“He talks about seeing her legs and liking to see her in a mini-skirt, and eventually there’s an arrangement to meet up, that she should travel to Manchester without telling her parents and he would travel from Warwick,” said Mr Wilkins.

Revell made it clear he would buy her gifts and talked about going to a hotel room, ‘but there’s nothing graphic.’

He also sent one girl attempted ‘upskirt’ pictures he had taken of girls on a bus, which Mr Wilkins said was concerning because he was a school governor at the time, and asked her to take similar pictures and send them to him.

His computer also contained 387 images of girls in naked or indecent poses which he had downloaded from the internet, and two more serious ones of girls in non-penetrative sexual activity.

Manchester police passed the matter to the Warwickshire force, and when he was then interviewed Revell gave a prepared statement denying the offences, but made no further comment.

Amy Jackson, defending, said: “Your Honour has to deal with this man of 68 years of age who has not previously been before a court.

“He offers no excuse for his offending. He is disgusted and shocked with himself. It is genuine remorse, and not just self-pity.”

Miss Jackson said there was no indication that, if the 12-year-old existed, he would have engaged in sexual penetration with her, and argued that the ‘candid voyeurism’ was different to grooming a girl to obtain images of her.

She said Revell, who had a history of voluntary work, had not gone into school governing with any unlawful intention, and the role did not bring him into direct contact with children.

As a result of the offences, his family have cut all ties with him, which Miss Jackson said had been significant punishment.

And she added that since his arrest, Revell has completed work with the Lucy Faithful Foundation and Stop It Now, which both work with sex offenders, and has engaged with a psycho-analyst to address his offending.

Sentencing Revell, Judge Berlin told him: “You are 68 years of age, and you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.

“You were found to have been grooming children you knew were 10 to 13 years old, and had arranged to meet someone who you thought was 12.

“But there are mitigating factors. You entered a plea of guilty at the earliest opportunity, you have shown remorse and, more importantly, you have taken active steps to address your problems.

“I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt, just about give you the benefit of the doubt.”