August 2020

‘Sinister in the extreme’ – the ‘lonely’ grandad who thought he was chatting online to a 13-year-old girl

A re-offending paedophile pensioner who was caught engaging in online chat with a ‘child’ has been jailed

A judge said it was ‘sinister in the extreme’ that Graham Blackley, 62, was sending messages to someone he believed was a 13-year-old girl.

He had actually sent messages to an undercover police officer.

A court was told on the basis of the ‘fairly innocuous’ messages, which were not sexual in nature, Blackley would likely not have ended up before the courts.

But months earlier, he had received a suspended sentence for offences of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Now Blackley, from Heywood, Rochdale, has been jailed after a judge said he’d blown the chance he’d been offered.

Minshull Street Crown Court heard that Blackley received the suspended sentence in October last year.

He had also been ordered to complete unpaid work and the Horizon sex offender programme, prosecutor Hayley Bennett said.

Blackley didn’t get the chance to start that programme as the coronavirus pandemic intervened.

Prosecutors told that Blackley had been in ‘daily contact’ with the ‘girl’ between June 9 and 18 earlier this summer.

Police went to his home the following month.

Blackley denied he had he had a mobile phone, but officers found he had a Motorola device which he had failed to disclose to police.

When he received the suspended sentence, a sexual harm prevention order was passed which banned him from having such a device without police knowing about it.

He was also prohibited from contacting any child under 16 as part of the order.

Blackley later admitted two counts of breaching the order, as well as breaching his suspended sentence.

Now he has been jailed for 20 months.

Sentencing, Judge Bernadette Baxter told him: “Unfortunately even at the age of 62, you were not able to tale the chance provided to you by the court.

“Why a man of 62 is communicating with somebody of that age, when you have adult daughters and grandchildren of your own, is sinister in the extreme.

“You must understand that today is the end of the road, because you have been given a chance and you did not take it.”