September 2020

Child sex offender avoids jail after downloading images of abuse again

A convicted child sex offender from Leeds has avoided jail after getting caught downloading indecent images of children for a second time.

Jack Lancaster was subject to a sexual harm prevention order when he accessed four images of children being abused.

The 23-year-old was handed a suspended prison sentence this week after pleading guilty to two counts of making indecent images of children and one count of breaching a sexual harm prevention order.

He had also been given a suspended prison sentence in 2015 after downloading more than 1,000 indecent images of children and befriending a 12-year-old girl on Facebook who he then persuaded to send him semi-naked photos of herself.

Leeds Crown Court heard the child had written ‘I love Jack’ on her stomach for one of the photos.

Prosecutor Michael Greenhalgh said Kik Messenger informed West Yorkshire Police that an account using Lancaster’s email address had uploaded an indecent image of a child to their server on June 5, 2018.

Officers executed a search warrant at Penda’s Way in Cross Gates, where he lives with his mother and teenage sister, and seized two mobile phones and a computer tower.

The phone believed to have uploaded the photo to Kik Messenger was damaged during examination, but three category A images were found on the other phone.

One category B image had been deleted from the phone, in breach of his sexual harm prevention order.

Mr Greenhalgh said Lancaster had searched the internet for the images using terms including ‘six-year-old’ and an abbreviation of ‘pre-teen hardcore’.

Lancaster’s first offences of making indecent images and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity happened in 2013 when he was aged 16.

In his police interview for those offences, he had admitted that he would download indecent images from a sharing platform and upload them for others to view.

Lancaster was handed a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with requirements to complete the Horizon programme and 30 days of rehabilitation activity.

He was also made subject to a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and placed on the sex offender register for 10 years.

Sentencing, Judge Mushtaq Khokhar called Lancaster a ‘loner’ with a ‘perversion’, adding: “On the last occasion, it would have been abundantly clear that the court regards these offences as serious. Maybe you still did not understand because if you had you would not be there.

“You accessing these images on the internet only encourages those who are responsible for putting them on the internet in the first place to create such images using young children for abuse.”

The judge warned: “This is your last chance of staying out of prison.”