December 2020

Huddersfield paedophile offered to masturbate on webcam for ‘teen’

A paedophile from Huddersfield was caught in a police sting after messaging a ’13-year-old girl’ online and offering to masturbate on webcam.

Jonathan Gatward messaged the police decoy in a teen chatroom near the end of March 2018.

The 54-year-old was handed an ‘intense’ community order today (Tuesday) after the court was told there had been unnecessary delays in the case.

Gatward had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity to attempting to engage in sexual activity in the presence of a child and attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

Prosecutor Christopher Dunn said the undercover police officer had pretended to be aged 13 and Gatward had replied saying he was even older than he was at the time and from Manchester.

He said Gatward gave the ‘child’ his Skype username, offered to let her watch him perform a sex act on himself and asked her if she would like to see an older man’s penis.

Leeds Crown Court police went to Gatward’s home on Barcroft Road in Newsome and arrested him.

Neil Baki, mitigating, said his client looks for ‘escapism and gratification’ when things become difficult in his life.

He said Gatward had told him that adult chatrooms were full of ‘misleading’ people, including men pretending to be women.

Judge Neil Clark handed Gatward an ‘intense’ three-year community order with requirements to complete the 35-day Horizon programme and 30 days of rehabilitation activity.

He said that such an ‘intense’ order would address his offending behaviour better than a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.