October 2015

Shipley man groomed teen boys on Skype


A man who used online chat rooms including Skype to groom and incite teenage boys into sexual activity has been jailed.

Police say the abuse carried out by Liam Garth was “a wake-up call for parents and guardians of young people who may fall victim” to sexual predators.

The 23-year-old from Baildon, Shipley, was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court after admitting five offences against two victims.

* Two counts of grooming boys aged 14 (between August 2013 and June 2014) and 15 (between April and July 2014) in an attempt meet up with them

* Facilitate the commission of a child sex offence (June 2014)

* Incite a boy aged 14 to engage in penetrative sexual activity between August 2013 and June 2014

* Incite a boy aged 14/15 to engage in non-penetrative sexual activity between April and July 2014

* Incite a boy aged 15 to engage in non-penetrative sexual activity between October 2010 and October 2011.

Garth will serve four-and-a-half years in prison and then four-and-a half years on licence when he is released. He was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which will be reviewed at a later date, and placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely.

The North Yorkshire Police investigation into Garth’s offending lasted more than a year and included victims and potential victims from North and West Yorkshire.

Detective Constable Andy Rawlings of the Harrogate Serious Crime Team said: “Liam Garth is an extremely manipulative individual who poses a serious risk to impressionable young people.

“It is clear from our investigation that he is a sexual predator and uses various online web chats, Skype in particular, to groom, entice and threaten his victims into committing sex acts for his own gratifications.