November 2015

Former police officer who cyber-stalked schoolgirl breaks SOPO

Ian Sutcliffe

A former police officer who cyber-stalked a 15-year-old girl was caught when police made a check on him.

Ian Sutcliffe called himself “daddy” and swapped messages of a sexual nature with the schoolgirl while his wife slept in bed beside him.

The court heard that Sutcliffe had previous convictions for possessing, making and distributing indecent pictures of a child and was on an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) at the time.

Sutcliffe, a 58-year-old former special police constable, of Cookson Street, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to breaching a SOPO.

He was refused bail and remanded in custody to appear at Preston Crown Court on December 9 by Blackpool magistrates.

Presiding magistrate, Brenda Wildish, told him: “Your behaviour is escalating and that is a cause for concern. You are seeking out young girls to talk to.”

Pam Smith, prosecuting, said Sutcliffe was convicted of having indecent pictures of a child in 2008 and 2011.

One of the conditions of the SOPO he was placed on banned him from having any unsupervised contact with children under 16.

On November 14, police made a routine visit to Sutcliffe’s home.

He appeared nervous when officers wanted to check his mobile phone and laptop. They discovered a conversation via Kik Chat Messenger with an underage schoolgirl.

When interviewed, Sutcliffe admitted he contacted the teenager, who lived in America. He said they engaged in text conversations of a sexual nature.

The prosecution said: “He said during the chat his wife would be in bed with him. She was unaware.

“He said he was mentally aroused. He said he was role-playing. He does not seem able to control his urges.”

Gary McAnulty, defending, said Sutcliffe admitted having three conversations with the girl. There was no chance he would have met her as she lived in America.

August 2011

Jail for repeat child sex offender

A REGISTERED sex offender who downloaded child abuse images while on a suspended sentence has been jailed.

Ian Sutcliffe was caught out in a routine visit by police to his Blackpool home to check any computer equipment.

It was discovered he had accessed a total of 16 indecent images of children. This had occurred while he was still on a suspended prison sentence from an earlier case of possessing and distributing child pornography.

Preston Crown Court heard how as part of that sentence, he had attended sessions run by the probation service.

The 54-year-old, of Keswick Road, Blackpool, had admitted five offences of making indecent images of children.

Magistrates had committed him to the higher court for sentence.

The routine visit by officers from the public protection unit took place in May this year.

Charles Brown, prosecuting, said the visit was carried out to check any computer equipment, because the defendant was a registered sex offender at the time. This was due to his receiving a suspended sentence in 2008 for possessing and distributing indecent images of children.

A laptop and a desktop computer were found at the address. When the software was investigated it was found that a number of “highly dubious” search terms.

The equipment was examined and it was found Sutcliffe had accessed images – three at level one, the least serious category, six at level two and seven at level four.

During police interview, Sutcliffe first indicated the images must have come before his previous conviction. He went on to accept evidence the material had been downloaded subsequently.

He maintained the children in the images were over 18.

Fraser Livesey, defending, said Sutcliffe had attended all the sessions required under a programme on his previous sentence. He had never offended, until the age of about 52.

Sutcliffe will be on the sex offenders register for seven years and subject to a sexual offences prevention order indefinitely.

Sending him to jail for 26 weeks, Judge Anthony Russell QC told Sutcliffe: “Young people would not be exploited and degraded to the extent they are if there were not a demand for this sort of material from people like you.”