‘Depraved’ supermarket boss jailed for web rape plot of young customer

Thomas Perry, of Northchurch (inset) was sentenced at court last Friday
Thomas Perry, of Northchurch (inset) was sentenced at court last Friday

A depraved supermarket boss discussed online how he would rape a schoolgirl, but worried that if she came into his store she might recognise him.

Thomas Perry chatted online with a man who was offering to arrange the sickening act they spoke of - first plying the youngster with alcohol and then tieing her up, blindfolding and gagging her.

But when police smashed a paedophile network they discovered the shocking exchanges between Perry and sick fixer Michael Emerton.

Perry, who was employed in a management role at the Tesco Express store in Berkhamsted, was arrested along with other paedophiles who had been in touch with Emerton.

On Friday (February 16) a judge told Perry that the online conversation with Emerton was ‘truly shocking’.

Perry, 28, who lived in Bell Lane, Northchurch, was given an extended prison sentence of 14 years.

Spelling out what that meant, the judge told him the custodial element of the sentence was 10 years, of which he would have to serve a minimum of six years and eight months before he could be considered for parole.

But that would only happen if the parole board were of the view he no longer posed a risk. If they were not of that view the judge told him he would remain behind bars longer.

The judge said that whenever he is released he will be on licence until 2032.

Perry was the last defendant of the Hertfordshire paedophile network to be sentenced.

Ringleader Emerton, 33, is serving nine life sentences.

Perry appeared for sentence after having been found guilty at the crown court late last year of conspiring to rape a child under 13, conspiring to commit sexual activity with a child under 13 and engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child under 13.

Before he was sentenced on Friday Judge Kay was told that Perry still maintains his innocence. The judge said his non-acceptance of responsibility was a ‘cause for concern’.

He added: “Because you were working in the locality there was a need to protect your identity.”

Perry was told his name would go on the sex offenders’ register for life and he will also be made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order.