Tomothy Dowd, 65, from Harrogate, is charged with four counts of attempting to incite a child into sexual activity A former Coronation Street d
Tomothy Dowd, 65, from Harrogate, is charged with four counts of attempting to incite a child into sexual activity
A former Coronation Street director groomed a supposed 13 year old girl online, a court heard.
Timothy Dowd, 66, from Harrogate, arrived at Leeds Crown Court this morning where he is charged with four counts of attempting to incite a child into sexual activity.
He was arrested last February, after a sting in which an undercover police officer posed as a 13-year-old girl online.
Dowd, technically a freelance director, did not have his £100,00-a-year contract renewed by ITV following his arrest, leaving Coronation Street after 24 years.
He has also worked on Emmerdale, Casualty and Heartbeat.
Married Dowd encouraged the decoy to have phone sex with him via WhatsApp and boasted he enjoyed wife swapping with his friend.
The officer told Dowd she was a 13-year-old in a care home, Leeds Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Rupert Doswell told the jury of eight men and four women that in January 2018 a West Yorkshire Police officer was employed online to identify child sex offenders. She created a false profile in the Lycos Chat room called Chantelle13Cymru
Mr Doswell said: ‘The officer was posing as a 13 year old girl.’
At 11.49am on 12 January Dowd, using the profile Ollie Reid contacted Chantelle and asked her whether she was 13.
When she confirmed that she was he responded ‘not a problem’.
‘He asked her whether she had ever had phone sex and he asked her whether she would like to,’ said Mr Doswell.
The court heard Dowd will argue he did not believe the girl – an undercover police officer who told him she was a 13-year-old in a care home – was under 16
Dowd asked for her phone number to carry on the conversation on WhatsApp and they continued further communication outside the chat room.
‘The defendant may have been concerned the chat room could be monitored and a mobile would be a much safer environment,’ said Mr Doswell.
‘From the outset he was overtly sexual.’
He asked whether she’d had sex and told her he had owned his own house in Yorkshire.
Dowd texted: ‘Have you been with an older man yet?’
He asked her to delete all the texts and asked her to send a photo of her breasts.
Dowd telephoned Chantelle later that day and spoke to the undercover officer. He was ‘overtly sexual’ in the call and told her she had a sexy voice.
Dowd asked whether any other girls at the care home would like to join in, but Chantelle told him all the others were younger, eight years old.
‘He told her it was quite horny watching people, and said he would watch his friend having sex with his wife and then he would have sex with her too,’ said Mr Doswell.
Over the next days he tried to encourage Chantelle to perform a sex act on herself.
He was arrested later that month and gave a ‘no comment’ interview.
The court heard he accepted the narrative of the prosecution but will say that he did not reasonably believe she was under the age of 16.
Dowd, of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, pleads not guilty to three counts of attempting to cause a girl aged 13 to engage in sexual activity and one count of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child for the purpose of sexual gratification between January 12 and 15, last year.
The trial continues.