January 2021

Sex offender who messaged girl, 14, spared jail

A Haverhill man who tried to coerce a child into a sexual act over the internet has been given a three-year community order.

Luke Brennan, 26, appeared before Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday, January 20, after he engaged in Facebook Messenger conversations with a man posing as a 14-year-old girl in November 2018

Further conversations with an actual 14-year-old girl were then found on his phone after it was seized by officers from Suffolk police.

Brennan had sent explicit messages to the girl – who had repeatedly given him her age – and encouraged her to do the same, again in November 2018.

He had previously pleaded guilty to three offences – attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity, attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act, and attempting to engage a child in sexual communication.

A fourth charge of possession of indecent photographs of a child was denied by Brennan and the court ordered this to lie on file.

He was given a three-year community order for his crimes and is required to complete 150 hours of unpaid work over the next 12 months.

He was also handed a 40-day rehabilitation activity requirement and made subject of a sexual harm prevention order for five years.

The judge sentencing him said he decided not to jail him so he can prove he can “behave normally”.