John Walshaw
John Walshaw was branded a ‘paedo’ after being spotted with a half-dressed 15-year-old girl and a bottle of wine down an alley. Police handout

A pervert, who was caught kissing a half-dressed 15-year-old girl carrying a bottle of wine, has been jailed.

John Walshaw, 56, was caught down an alley with the "vulnerable" girl by a group of children who called the man a "paedo" and called police.

The pair were spotted in an area close to the children's home where the victim lived, on 29 July, with the girl's pyjamas and underwear down and Walshaw about to have sexual contact with her.

Walshaw, of Grimsby, admitted sexual activity with a child and another offence of attempted sexual activity at Grimsby Crown Court. He was jailed for two years.

The court heard that the serial sex offender had 55 previous convictions, including being jailed for seven years in 1992 for rape, and locked up for nine months in 1989 for indecent assault, reported the Grimsby Telegraph.

Prosecutors said that Walshaw was seen holding hands with the sexual predator sparking concern among the other children because he was considerably older than she was.

The group followed Walshaw and confronted him when they spotted Walshaw "snogging" the child for five minutes and noticed that she was holding a bottle of wine.

They told Walshaw that the girl was only 15 and the victim then claimed the pervert was her "uncle", which the group disbelieved. They then called police and told staff at the children's home, where she lived.

Michael Morley, prosecuting, said according to the Grimbsy Telegraph: "It was made clear to him that the girl whose hand he was holding was a child. He was much, much older than her."

They were later spotted behind bushes with her pyjamas and knickers down and Walshaw in front of her. The sex offender was arrested nearby.

Recorder Mark McKone told Walshaw: "She was living in a children's home and was clearly vulnerable. Her friends were sufficiently concerned that they followed you. The other children were all telling you that she was only 15. When you were told her age, that didn't put you off."

In mitigation Gordon Stables said his client claimed he did not know that the girl was in care or that she was under 16 until he had already met her, and he had been drinking at the time of the incident.

Walshaw was handed a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and must register as a sex offender for 10 years.