April 2017

Suspended sentence over Runcorn sex offence order breach


A paedophile from Runcorn has been ordered to complete a rehabilitation programme after breaching a Sexual Offences Prohibition Order (SHPO).

Anthony King, 24, of Hedge Hey, was handed an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, at Chester Crown Court for refusing to tell police the whereabouts of his internet-capable phone, just months after being released from prison.

The court heard King had exchanged social media and text messages with a teenage runaway and had sent the girl ‘non-pornographic’ photographs of himself.

Another girl saw the communications and told the police.

At an earlier hearing, Mandy Nepal, prosecuting, said he gave a no comment interview but produced a pre-prepared statement in which he said he had not made sexual advances or received or requested photographs.

When police arrested him on June 13 last year, officers seized two phones which turned out to belong to someone else as King refused to disclose where his device was, as required under the terms of a SHPO imposed along with a 25-month prison sentence in February 2015 for making indecent images of a child and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

The offences included online grooming and three victims.

Breaching the SHPO meant he had to return to prison to serve the remainder of that sentence, finishing the full term on March 27.

Paul Wood, defending, said King’s SHPO breach only related to June 13 last year when he refused to disclose his phone’s location to police rather than the five weeks when he had been in communication with one of the victims.

He also appealed for credit for King’s guilty plea.

The court heard the phone in question was never found and that offences were not committed against the runaway and one of the other girls.

Mr Wood conceded that the probation officer who wrote King’s pre-sentence report was concerned that King’s ‘behaviour could have escalated’.

He said rehabilitation work to ‘address his underlying issues’ was the ‘best form of protection’ for the public.

Presiding judge Recorder Jeremy Lasker said there were ‘worrying aspects’ of the case including the timing after King’s release from custody and that the girl had run away and was ‘vulnerable’. He said that the terms of the SHPO could have been drawn more tightly to have ensured police were already aware of his device.

He said: “It seems to me there’s no requirement for him to register any internet capable piece of equipment or to connect it to so many pieces of equipment.

“It seems to me if one of these girls hadn’t gone to the police, nobody would have come to look at the defendant’s equipment.”

Suspending King’s sentence, Recorder Lasker said: “You were convicted before Warrington Crown court and sentenced by that court to a custodial sentence I think of 25 months in length together with a SHPO which was to remain in force for 10 years. And those offences related to sexual offences committed by you involving the obtaining of photographs of young children and other sexual offences involving young children.

“You were released from that sentence on March 11 of last year, and committed this offence for which I have to sentence you today, on June 13 of last year, so really three months after your release from imprisonment.”

In addition to his suspended sentence, King received a 40-day rehabilitation requirement and was ordered to complete a sex offender treatment programme.

February 2015

Runcorn man who groomed three schoolgirls is jailed

A SEXUAL predator who groomed three schoolgirls on social media has been jailed for two years.

Anthony King, aged 22, of Greenbridge Close, Castlefields, Runcorn, was sentenced to 25 months today after admitting three offences of inciting a child into sexual activity and four charges of making indecent images.

He lied about his age as he cajoled them on Facebook, telling one he was only 15 and another that he was 18.

After kissing one 13-year-old girl and telling her she was sexy, he enticed her into some woods and coaxed her to strip and give him a lap dance.

She refused and he became moody. He then laughed as she stood, embarrassed in her underwear.

He asked another 13-year-old girl to perform sexual acts for him on Skype.

After having sexual conversations for four months with a vulnerable 15-year-old girl, he asked her if she would have his baby.

He sent one girl a picture of his genitals.

Police found one obscene naked photograph of a girl and other pictures of girls in their underwear posing for the camera on his phone and laptop.

Victims said the ordeal has had a profound effect on them.

One girl tried to commit suicide and is now undergoing psychiatric therapy.

Others have been forced to change schools because they were being bullied.

Jailing King at Warrington Crown Court, as his parents sat in the public gallery, Judge Raj Shetty said: “They were all children groomed by you. You were an adult.

“One girl was 13, you were going on 21. You knew she was 13 and a schoolgirl.

“These children were all very pliable and easily manipulated to your requests of a sexual nature.

“That is why the law exists to protect children and make sure they can’t be exploited.

“I’m horrified to hear that one of these victims has been bullied, harmed herself and had to move school because of your actions.

“You used these young girls to make up for your lack of adult intimacy in your life.

“These girls were an easy target for you.

“You asked one girl to perform a lap dance striptease for your gratification. You laughed at her. The effect humiliated her.

“You were persistent with your contact with these girls.

“These offences are so serious, they merit a custodial sentence.”

King was also given a sexual offences prevention order for 10 years.

Maria Masselis prosecuting, said: “One girl was feeling suicidal as a result of what happened. She made efforts to harm herself with knives and taking tablets.

“She feels alienated from her family because of the shame and embarrassment.

“Another girl suffered greatly from stress and is concerned about covering up her body.

“There has been a profound effect on these girls.”

Jeremy Rawson, defending, said there had been no sexual touching or physical contact.

He said: “He (King) is a sad, isolated, vulnerable individual who was bullied at school and retreated into his shell.

“He relies on his family for contact.

“He is remorseful.

“He is a person of previous good character. He has never come to the attention of the police for a caution or conviction.”