October 2015

Youth coach jailed for attempts to lure boys while posing as girl on social media


A YOUTH team football coach with a sexual attraction to young boys has been jailed for eight years.

Daniel Burn used his connections in youth football and with a local cricket team to target them on the internet, trying to incite them into meeting him for sex.

Durham Crown Court heard that posing as a schoolgirl he lured some of the boys into sending him intimate images of themselves, thinking that the ‘girl’ with whom they were communicating would reciprocate.

Richard Bennett, prosecuting, said Burn cloned the Facebook profile of a young woman, who was unaware of his activities, to increase his chances of attracting young boys.

Mr Bennett said that when the women was made aware of her account being “hijacked” she initially thought it was a joke and was then “mortified” and “angry” at seeing some of the contents.

The court was told Burn also created a Facebook profile of another woman to also lure boys into communicating with him.

Despite his efforts, he only met one boy, and no sexual activity took place, despite giving him alcohol.

Mr Bennett said Burn was initially arrested in June last year when the mother of one boy contacted police after she became aware of the nature of some of the messages on social media sites he used.

At the time he denied having a sexual interest in boys, but, when bailed immediately resumed his activities.

When he was further arrested Burn made admissions and conceded he did have a sexual interest in boys.

Twenty-two-year-old Burn, of Thompson Street West, Darlington, admitted five counts of causing or inciting a boy to engage in sexual activity and asked for three similar offences to be considered.

Two of the boys involved were aged under 13 and the others were all in the 13 – 15 bracket.

Jailing him, Judge Christopher Prince told Burn he had “targeted” boys in, “a deliberate, considered and devious” manner.

He made Burn subject of a sexual harm prevention order, forbidding future unsupervised contact with anyone under 16 and restricting his use of the internet.

Burn will also be subject to registration as a sex offender for life.