George's Story

I’d been working part-time so I was home alone for several hours a day. I was using chat apps on my phone for online sex.

It was just something I did. I didn’t really think about it. I was chatting to all sorts, including teenage girls. I knew a couple were underage. I didn’t think anyone was watching.

The Police turned up at the door and arrested me and I spent the night in the cells. I was charged and released. When I made my first court appearance the newspapers found out and I was branded a paedophile, which I suppose I am, but I never thought of myself as being that. I hid in my house for weeks.

I lost my job, of course. My boss got hassle from customers and he told me not to come back.

I started to go out again to go to the shops. Then one day someone put posters up around the area with my picture on it. I was very frightened, I thought I was going to be attacked. The Police came to the door to check on me but I wouldn’t answer. A month or two later, when I started going out again, someone stopped me in the street and shouted abuse.

I’m waiting for sentencing. I don’t know if I’ll be sent to jail or not. In the meantime, there are all sorts of restrictions on what I can and can’t do.

I’ve lost everything. My wife left me after I got arrested, my children won’t speak to me and I can’t see my grandchildren. I’ve no job and no chance of getting another one.

My advice to anyone in danger of doing the same thing? Just don’t. How could it be worth it? Why put yourself at such a risk?

I’ve been working with Stop it Now! Scotland to try and understand why I did what I did, to make sure I never do it again. That has to be the most important outcome.

Call the Stop It Now! Helpline on 0808 1000 900, 9.00am – 9.00pm Mondays to Thursdays and 9.00am – 5.00pm Fridays, if you are concerned about:

  • Protecting your own children or others
  • Require help and support after a family member has been charged or convicted of an offence against children
  • Are concerned about your own thoughts or behaviour in relation to children.
  • Victims of abuse can find help here.

Find out about the Campaign in our What's Happening Campaigns section.