Christopher Allan – Everton
Posted Merseyside, Social Network/Internet Predators
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Pervert sentenced after posing as teen to get young girl to send him indecent photographs
Merseyside Police has praised a young school girl who raised the alarm after a man posing as a teenage boy attempted to persuade her to share photographs of herself over the internet.
Christopher Allan, 31, of Spellow Lane, Everton was today given a two year prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to attend the Northumberland Sex Offender Programme. A Sexual Offences Prevention Order was also imposed, to last 10 years, and he was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.
Allan had pretended to the 11-year-old that he was 17 when in fact he was 30. He contacted the schoolgirl over Facebook one night last March and sent her an indecent picture of himself before trying to get her to do the same.
The girl became uneasy and suspicious and refused. She then told her mother and later showed the message and photograph to a police officer who works closely with her school.
The force’s hi-tech crime unit investigate the Facebook account holder which led them to Allan’s house in Spellow Lane, Kirkdale where he was arrested and his computer seized.
Allan was charged and at an earlier court hearing and pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to cause or incite a child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity, and one count of attempting to meet a girl under 16 following grooming.
Superintendent Kevin Wellens said: “This was a disturbing case which has had a lasting effect on the whole family and in particular this young girl.
“Christopher Allan was determined in his pursuit of her and despite knowing she was just 11 years old, continued to ask her to send him explicit images. Often in such cases the offender claims to be someone they are not. Thankfully in this case, the victim realised this, understood the conversation was inappropriate and alerted her parents. Despite coming under pressure to do so, she refused to send any pictures.
“Although the offender then removed his social media profile, the girl was able to show a police officer the explicit photograph he’d sent her and this crucial evidence was captured. We were then able to identify him and bring him to justice, resulting in his sentencing today.”
The victim’s mum said: “My daughter is not the little girl she used to be. She no longer goes out of the house and instead will stay indoors and have a friend come to the house. She will no longer walk to and from school – she wants people with her at all times.
“She is very suspicious and nervous of people now. She worries she is going to run into Allan and that he will somehow get her. Even if she walks to the shops she will ring us and have us stay on the line as a comfort.
“The whole 12 months have put a tremendous strain on my family. There have been tensions, moments of anger and incredible stress. This has been a dark cloud over us for a year. This is something we have to continue to live with. I feel this will continue to affect her and has taken away some of her naivety.”
Superintendent Wellens added: “This case highlights the importance of all of us making sure we understand the risks that exist whenever we go online and how to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe when using the Internet.
“The web offers a degree of anonymity to criminals like Christopher Allan, allowing them to pretend to be someone they are not and gain trust and build relationships with younger people in order to exploit them for their own gain. These relationships may feel like genuine friendships for that child or teenager because so many of their real friendships with other youngsters are formed on the internet. But a 31-year-old man pretending to be a 17-year-old and sending explicit photographs to an 11-year-old is not a real friendship at all and Allan’s behaviour was nothing short of criminal.
“Fortunately the victim trusted her instincts, knew about how to stay safe online and refused to send any photographs of herself. Instead she did exactly the right thing and told an adult which allowed Allan to be caught and stopped from doing this to anyone else. Not all children are as astute, that’s why the police are working with schools and other organisations to do more to raise awareness and get all young people thinking about this.”
Police provided no picture of Allan.