January 2021

Leeds pervert had indecent child images when he was arrested for contacting undercover police officer posing as 15-year-old boy on Grindr app

A paedophile was caught with indecent child images after being arrested when he made contact with what he believed to be a 15-year-old boy on a dating app.

Luke Vickers was in fact engaging in an online conversation with an undercover police officer pretending to be a schoolboy.

Leeds Crown Court heard the 31-year-old defendant made contact with the ‘boy’ on Grindr, a dating app for gay and bisexual men.

Vickers began the conversation and sent messages stating he was 29 years of age.

Catherine Duffy, prosecuting, said Vickers received messages from ‘Jack’ and was told he was aged 15.

Vickers sent messages that were sexual in nature over a number of weeks.

‘Jack’ sent messages saying he was scared of meeting the defendant.

Vickers replied saying that he would “go as slow as needed.”

Vickers sent a photo of his face and another image on himself fully clothed but asked ‘if there was anything else he wanted to see.’

A hard drive and a lap top were seized from the property and 134 child images were recovered.

Judge Simon Phillips QC said the number of images represented “a drop in the ocean” as there were around half a million pictures and videos which were not categorised by police officers.

Vickers was interviewed about the offending and said he had ended the chat with ‘Jack’.

He claimed he did not know if he was chatting to a child or was exchanging fantasies with an adult.

Vickers later accepted that there was a sexual element to the messages he had sent.

Judge Simon Phillips QC said there was an element of grooming to Vickers’ offending.

He was given a ten-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

Vickers was told he must go on the sex offender register for ten years.