March 2021

Paedophile teacher and ex-policeman sent sexual messages to ’12-year-old girl’

A school teacher and ex-cop was caught sending sexual messages to someone he thought was a 12-year-old girl, a court heard.

Barry Lander, 48, began to message a young girl named on a chat room when in fact it was an undercover police officer.

On Friday Caernarfon Crown Court heard how the teacher and former police officer sent sexual messages to the girl’s account over a two-week period in October 2019, culminating in suggestions of the pair meeting up in Cardiff.

Despite being told the girl’s age messages read in court heard how Lander had referred to kissing her neck and touching her nipples as he moved his hands “down”.

During an earlier trial Lander, from Anglesey, denied his behaviour, claiming that he knew all along that the account was a “vigilante” and that he was “stringing” the account along.

But he was convicted of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity by a jury.

In Friday’s hearing Simon Mintz, prosecuting, said the messages culminated in an exchange on October 22 in which the conversation turned to “what would happen if they met up in Cardiff.”

Asking what the girl would do in response to him touching her, the undercover police officer replied: “Just lie there lol.” Lander replied: “I hoped you would say you would open your legs lol.”

In the hearing it was also heard that when the police officer stopped replying to Lander the teacher continued to send messages.

It was said that Lander had potential work plans to visit Cardiff in November 2019 although a meeting with the girl had not been arranged.

In his sentencing remarks Judge David Hale said Lander had joined a chat room while “perhaps at his lowest ebb” and began to chat with the account.

From there Lander had suggested the conversation move onto Skype “which of course the police officer was happy to do”.

Judge Hale said: “You are fixated by your contention that you realised straightaway that this was a vigilante and no doubt you have gone through the transcript time and time again not only before the trial but since finding different pieces of syntax to support your conspiracy.

“What you overlook, perhaps, is the ease with which you used phrases to steer the conversation towards a sexual matter. They are your phrases throughout.”

He added: “I don’t believe for a minute you thought this was a vigilante. You didn’t think about anything about this conversation with a young girl culminating in the possibility of going to meet in Cardiff where you knew you had to go as part of your employment in the November.”

In total Lander, of Bron y Graig, Bodedern, was sentenced to two years in prison, half of which will be served in custody before he is released on licence.

A sexual harm prevention order will also be put in place, lasting for 10 years, and Lander will be placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years barring him from working with children.

February 2021

Anglesey maths teacher and ex-cop found guilty of trying to groom 12-year-old girl online after undercover police sting

A married maths teacher and former policeman accused of trying to groom a girl of twelve online was caught in a “sting” by an undercover cop.

Barry Lander, aged 48, of Bron y Graig, Bodedern, Anglesey, was convicted on a 10-2 majority verdict, by a Caernarfon crown court jury, of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity during October 2019.

He had denied the charge during a two-day trial.

He’d claimed he knew from an early stage it wasn’t a child chatting online and thought it may have been a vigilante paedophile hunter who he was “stringing” along.

But prosecutor Simon Rogers alleged he was getting a “thrill” from sexually explicit chat with someone he thought was a girl.

Quizzed about his choice of profile name “bad hub,” Lander insisted :”It was just a name I made up. There was no specific reason. It’s a hub of people. I just put the word ‘bad’ in front of it.”

Mr Rogers asked whether Lander had mentioned “Candy Crush” because a young girl would be interested in such a game.

“You asked ‘is it just you and your foster mum’? Was that you working out the family dynamic?” Mr Rogers also said to him. Lander replied: ”No.”

Lander told the jury he sent a real photograph of himself “in error” to someone he thought was an adult and web paedophile hunter.

The prosecution alleged there were “clear elements of grooming” and Lander had started to sexualise the chat and had been “pushing the boundaries.”

During the web messages Lander had commented “you deserve someone nice” and “you are awesome.” But in court he disputed that he was trying to “curry favour.”

In one conversation, he’d also asked :”How bad are you really?”

Lander maintained he was “stringing them along, trying to get some reaction. I was trying to help the police service by stringing this person along, by keeping these people occupied.”

Lander had discussed him staying at a Cardiff hotel and his lustful desires including about teaching his web contact “a lesson.”

He told his barrister Anna Price that although he had been told the other web user was twelve, he believed it had been someone in their 30s or 40s because of their literacy skills including the use of the word “actually” and apostrophes.

He said he wanted to waste the time of the “vigilante.”

Judge David Hale bailed Lander, whose wife was in court, until he is sentenced next month after a pre-sentence report. He must register as a sex offender.

“Don’t read anything into the fact I am asking for a report,” the judge warned him.