June 2020

Pervert child groomer, formerly of Darlington, back behind bars

A serial child sex offender could be facing an indeterminate spell behind bars after his latest offences brought him back before a judge.

Nigel Lodge was caught inciting a young teenager to engage in sexual activity, attempting to incite a teenager to engage in sexual activity as well as breaching the terms of his sexual harm prevention order (SHPO).

The 58-year-old was jailed in 2018 after sending indecent messages and videos to a 13-year-old schoolgirl before communicating with what he believed was another young girl while he was on police bail.

Lodge, who was living in Station Road, Darlington, at the time, was jailed for three years, ten months at Teesside Crown Court after he admitted charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, causing a child to watch a sexual act, attempted grooming and incitement and sending a malicious communication.

Lodge, of Portrack Lane, Stockton, pleaded guilty to the three offences from last month at an earlier hearing.

When he appeared at the same court on Friday, Lodge was expecting to be sentenced for his latest offences but Judge Howard Crowson wanted further information about his previous convictions and his future risk before passing judgement.

Judge Crowson said: “He will get a prison sentence but it’s how the prison sentence will be passed, whether it will be determinate or something else.

“I will adjourn this case to find out about the previous offences, knowing more about those offences and knowing more about what the probation service thinks will make a difference.”

Anthony Pettengell, representing Lodge, agreed his client would benefit from the case being adjourned so the relevant questions can be asked before sentence.

The case was adjourned until July 20

In 2018, prosecutor Harry Hadfield said the 55-year-old began texting a 13-year-old girl at the beginning of 201 using a social media app.

Under the tag name ‘Sexy Man’, Lodge sent images of his private parts to the victim as well as a video showing him touching himself.

He called the teenager cute and sexy and suggested they meet up for sex. Lodge moved onto making voice calls via WhatsApp, telling the young girl he loved her.

Five days after he had appeared at crown court and pleaded guilty to the first set of offences he was in contact with the decoy, offering to teach her about sex.

February 2018

Judge says all options open on Darlington sex offender as he awaits sentence

A newley convicted sex offender has been warned by a judge that he could face jail.

Nigel Lodge was told by Judge Tony Briggs that all sentencing options were open after he admitted charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and causing a child to watch a sexual act.

The offences he pleaded guilty to occurred in 2016.

A report on Lodge was requested and his case adjourned for sentence at Teesside Crown Court to return on March 9.

Lodge, 55, of Station Road, Darlington, had been of previous good character, the court heard.

He will now be required to alert police to his whereabouts as a registered sex offender.

Judge Briggs bailed Lodge ahead of his sentence, but said he should not read anything into that as all sentencing options were open to him.