Lorry driver targeted Hull mum on dating site to abuse her daughter - and may have preyed on dozens
A LORRY driver is believed to have targeted dozens of single mothers on dating sites so he could abuse their children.
Former soldier Stephen Fawcett, 34, was in contact with dozens of women after striking up relationships with them on dating sites including Flirtomatic.
Within weeks of contacting a mum from east Hull, Fawcett said he wanted a relationship with her.
He texted the woman claiming he wanted to be a "father figure" to her 11-year-old daughter and said he would adopt her.
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Fawcett met the girl and after a family event at her mother's house, he sexually assaulted her.
The brave child immediately told her mother and the police were called.
Fawcett, of Wawne, has been unanimously convicted by a jury at Hull Crown Court after an hour and 20 minutes of one count of sexual assault.
Judge Mark Bury has jailed him for five years and ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders' Register for life.
Detectives believe Fawcett target mothers and their children across the country after finding dozens of text messages on his phone to other women he had met on dating sites.
Detective Constable Brian Christie said: "He has been striking up relationships with adult females through dating sites.
"He befriended the mother of an 11-year-old girl through the dating site and continued contacting her by phone calls and text messages.
"He met the mother on a few occasions and within a short space of time was introduced to her family and her daughter. He ingratiated himself with the child, who did not have a father figure, over a two-week period.
"He had contacted other women. We have recovered his phone records and there are dozens of contacts with women and hundreds of text messages along the lines of engaging in relationships with them.
"We believe he could have been in similar positions with other family units and could have committed similar offences that may not have been reported to the police.
"We may be contacting these other women to establish that harm has not been caused as a result of his activities. Due to the nature of his employment he has travelled the country and could have accessed vulnerable people.
"It is my belief as an investigator that he has been in contact with other women and engaged in relationships with them. The concern I have is that he has, as in this case, got himself in family units into a position where he could be trusted so he could offend against vulnerable young children.
"I would appeal to anyone who has been in contact with him and fear he may have targeted a child to get in touch with us."
Fawcett contacted the east Hull woman in February last year and continued to text her over a two-month period.
He then targeted the child on April 11. Fawcett had spent the evening at her mother's home with her family when the girl fell asleep on the sofa. Fawcett offered to carry her to bed. When he put her into bed he sexually assaulted her.
The child went downstairs a few minutes later and told her mother.
When the mother, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, challenged him, Fawcett said "I'm not standing here being accused of this" and walked out.
The mother never saw him again and called the police.
Fawcett denied the offence and continued to do so throughout his trial.
DC Christie said: "This was a sweet, adorable child and he gained her trust and betrayed it in the worst possible way and he hurt her."
Fawcett was discharged from the Army in 2007 and has two previous convictions for assault.