September 2019

Sex offender gives police surprising excuse for going on the run

A sex offender who went on the run from the police claimed he was on a “road trip”, a court heard.

Luke Eames, aged 28, spent five months dodging officers trying to monitor his behaviour.

He went to Wales with his partner – where he was arrested for attacking police.

Former computer shop owner Eames, with a record of distributing perverted images of children, has seen his road trip end in prison.

Judge Paul Darlow jailed him for 16 months for a range of offences at Plymouth Crown Court.

He told Eames: “When you left your accommodation in March, you were in no doubt of your obligations to inform the police of your whereabouts, whatever your intentions were regarding this road trip.”

Eames, being of no fixed address, was meant to contact the police once a week so officers could keep an eye on him.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to comply with the notification requirements as a registered sex offender.

Eames also admitted two breaches of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order imposed in 2015 by having mobile phones which were not registered with the police.

That order was imposed when Eames, then living in Dartmouth, was jailed for possession and distribution of indecent images of children and perverting the course of justice.

He ran Conker Computers in Ivybridge at the time.

Eames had first been convicted of distributing indecent images of children back in 2010. He failed to comply with sex offender treatment designed to tackle his perverted behaviour.

Nigel Wraith, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said he had been registered with the police as living at Holmes Avenue in Efford from November 2017.

He added that police had a 999 call from his registered mobile phone on March 8 this year.

Officers attended Holmes Avenue to find that he had moved out two days before.

Mr Wraith said police caught up with him on March 30, when he said he was of no fixed address.

The barrister said that he was meant to tell the police his whereabouts every seven days – but they heard nothing from him for five months.

Mr Wraith said Eames turned up in Pembrokeshire in August, when he was convicted of assaulting two police officers and criminal damage.

The court heard a neighbour had called the police because he was playing loud music at his accommodation.

Michael Green, for Eames, said it was an unusual case but he had spoken to the defendant’s fiancee and she had confirmed they had been on a “road trip”.

He disputed that Eames had been evicted from his home in Efford.

Mr Green added that his client’s mother had confirmed he had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

The barrister said: “He is a young man who has had some difficulties in communicating with his offender manager.”

Mr Green said Eames had no fixed address but had planned to settle back in Plymouth with his fiancee. He added that the defendant had spent the last four weeks in custody.

Judge Darlow ripped up the community order imposed by Welsh magistrates for the offences in Pembrokeshire. He resentenced Eames for 16 months for all offences in total.

February 2015

Computer shop owner is jailed for child abuse images


A computer shop owner has been jailed for sending ‘revenge porn’ and then using his high tech skills to try to cover up his crime.

Luke Eames set up in business at a shopping centre in Ivybridge despite having a previous conviction for downloading child abuse images and being subject to a court order which controlled his own access to the internet.

He used a false name to get round the Sexual Offenders’ Register set up a Facebook account which he used to send a send a picture of an ex partner to a friend of hers.

The image showed his former girlfriend posing in underwear when she was aged just 16 but Eames tried to doctor the data on the file to suggest it was taken after she turned 18.

He produced a modified version and presented it to police at court but it took their experts just days to realise that it had been altered.

Eames, aged 23, was featured on the BBC’s Newsbeat programme in 2010 as an example of a young person who had overcome poor GCSE results to start their own business.

He ran Conker Computers in the Glanville Mill centre in Ivybridge and when police found fresh child abuse images on his personal desktop and laptop he claimed they must have been infected by files from customers’ machines.

He finally admitted that he had been downloading images showing very young children being forced to take part in sex acts.

Eames, of Davis Road, Dartmouth, admitted two offences of breaching the sex offenders register, taking, and distributing an indecent image of his ex partner, possessing indecent images of children and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

He was jailed for a total of 34 months by Judge Phillip Wassall at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him:”You used a false name on the internet in direct contravention of the order and sent a girl of 15 an indecent image of a former friend which was taken when she was 16.

“They knew each other and eventually it was revealed to the police who seized your computer equipment and found indecent images of children.

“That was in itself a very serious offence with the obvious aggravating feature of your previous convictions.

“It doesn’t end there. In trying to construct a defence you stated the photograph of the 16-year-old was taken when she was 18.

“You are the proprietor of a computer shop and used your skills alter the underlying data and change the date on the photograph to make it appear it had been taken two years later.

“The devious way you went about using a false name on the internet to carry out these activities means they must result in immediate custody.”

Mr Brian Fitzherbert, prosecuting, said Eames was subject to restrictions on how he used the internet because of a previous conviction for downloading indecent images.

He said he breached it in July 2014 when he tried to get in touch with a former girlfriend on Facebook, who blocked him under his own name.

He set up a new Facebook account in the false name of Jack Winsome and used it to try again. When she blocked this attempt he sent an old photograph of her in underwear to a 15-year-old female mutual friend.

Police found a total of 33 indecent images of children on a tower and a laptop they seized from Conker Computers.

Mr William Parkhill, defending, said Eames now acknowledges he has a problem that needs addressing and would be better receiving treatment in the community rather than sent to jail.

He said:”There is an element of immaturity. This young man comes across as being younger than his years. His attempt to throw the police off the scent was seen through quickly.