May 2016

Taxi driver sent ‘suggestive’ One Direction picture to groom young boy

john cole

A TAXI driver sent a “suggestive” picture of boy band One Direction to groom a young boy.

John Cole, 34, set up a fake internet profile under the name ‘Nicholas Fastholme’ to speak to the boy online.

They also exchanged various text messages, which Cole deleted in an attempt to cover his tracks, Hull Crown Court heard.

The messages were later recovered by police.

Michele Stuart-Lofthouse, prosecuting, said: ” A suggestive picture of the One Direction boy band was sent to the boy during the period the two had contact.

“The defendant deleted the text messages from his phone in an attempt to hide evidence from the police.”

Hull Crown Court also heard how the boy stayed at Cole’s house and shared a bed with him on four separate occasions in November 2014.

Cole, of Bamford Avenue, east Hull, was convicted by a jury of meeting a child following sexual grooming and three counts of child abduction in November 2014, following a trial.

He was acquitted of having sexual activity with a child.

Recorder Dominic Nolan QC said although Cole was acquitted of having sexual activity with a child, his actions had an “ulterior motive”.

Jailing Cole for 18 months, Recorder Nolan said the 34-year-old had an “unhealthy sexual interest” in the boy.

Cole was given a sexual harm prevention order for five years.

He must also sign the sex offender’s register for ten years.