A young paedophile with convictions for sex offences groomed two boys before travelling more than 300 miles to meet them, a court heard.
Gareth Oliver paid £52 for a coach trip from his home in Newcastle-upon-Tyne to Medway, taking with him his BMX bike and trunks so he could take the boys swimming.
But his plan to sleep rough with the youngsters was thwarted after their parents became suspicious and he was arrested.
Now, 21-year-old Oliver, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, is facing a “substantial” jail sentence after he was convicted of two offences of meeting a child following grooming with intent to commit a sexual offence.
Maidstone Crown Court heard he was on licence and under the supervision of the probation service at the time.
Oliver was, at the age of 14, sentenced to three years’ detention with an extended three-year licence in October 2007 for the oral rape of two boys, aged seven and nine. He was released in February 2010.
Prosecutor Deborah Charles told the jury that Oliver’s previous convictions meant he was banned from having unsupervised contact with children under 16 without the approval of his probation officer.
Using the name Wolfie, Oliver befriended and groomed the boys via BBM (Blackberry Messenger), sometimes sending 100 messages a day.
It progressed to him arranging a meeting and on a weekend in July last year he set off on his journey to do so.
They rode around on bikes with other boys in Gillingham and Oliver, then 20, blew up condoms he took with him. The two boys, aged 12 and 13, later went home and Oliver slept rough in Broadway Park.
The next day they went swimming. But a mother had become suspicious and went to the pool.
“She saw Wolfie handling the boys, trying to throw them in,” said Miss Charles. “She found the way he did so quite disconcerting.”
The parent took him home, but she later saw Oliver hiding behind a wall and then found blown-up condoms and empty packets in the garden.
One of the fathers confronted Oliver later and he was defensive and aggressive.
Two fathers eventually grabbed him and he was arrested. Officers found condoms in his pocket.
“It is clear that the visit to these boys was sexually motivated,” said the prosecutor. “He has a sexual interest in underage boys.”
Oliver denied the charges and claimed he had only visited Kent “to have some fun”. He was convicted by a 10-2 majority.
Judge Martin Joy asked the prosecutor to find out more information about Oliver’s supervision before sentence on a date to be arranged.
“Judges are passing sentences on licence every day,” he said. “The public has to have confidence that they are effective.”
He told Oliver: “You have been convicted of this serious offence. You will understand that by adjourning for reports it is not an indication that the sentence can be anything other than a substantial custodial sentence.”
The judge told jurors: “It is not so much what he did but what he intended to do which makes it a complicated sentencing exercise.”