October 2021

Mother-of-two, 38, shared vile images of children

A mother-of-two shared child abuse images with her zombie-actor boyfriend in a warped attempt to ‘keep alive’ their creepy romance, a court heard.

Rachael Larkman, 38, acquired the images and sent them to 35-year-old Steven Kearsley after he became ‘obsessed’ with the idea of chatting online with a young girl.

In one explicit exchange Kearsley, who has played zombies in made-for-video movies, sent messages online to Larkman saying: ‘You got any pervy pics? You can send any – even nudes I wouldn’t run.’

She in turn replied: ‘I’ll try n get a couple tomorrow n take some of me in a bit for u xxxxx.’

When she posted: ‘Lol having fun?’ he responded: ‘Child abuse is always fun x.’

At Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, Larkman, who admitted distributing indecent images of children, was given a suspended prison sentence after the hearing was told she had learning difficulties.

Kearsley was jailed for 12 months after being convicted of sexual communications with a child and encouraging the sharing of indecent images.

The pair, both of Oldham, Greater Manchester, were arrested after police were made aware of the images and explicit messages.

Inquiries revealed Kearsley, who has appeared as an extra in Emmerdale and in a BBC TV drama about the trial of society call girl Christine Keeler, had been contacting a teenager via Snapchat asking for nude pictures, a court heard.

Kearsley, a father, described himself on his StarNow acting profile page as ‘the type that doesn’t take much convincing to do something daft’.

He said he has also worked on promotional stunt for 100th episode of The Walking Dead and played a white walker in Dead factor, a zombie talent show featuring Louie Spence. 

On IMDb, he described himself as an ‘actor who is returning after some time away to take care of his family’.

The court heard the couple began dating in 2013 after they met through the dating website Flirtomatic.

Larkman later agreed to testify against her now ex-boyfriend before a jury. 

Robert Smith prosecuting said: ‘They began what is referred to as a “friends with benefits” style relationship based on casual sex.

‘He asked Rachael Larkman for topless photos of herself, which she did but then asked her whether she was interested in pornography.

‘Rachael explained that initially she did not want to comply with the defendant’s request for indecent images of children but the defendant told her that if she did not get them, he would.

‘Rachel accepted that she had sent eight to ten photographs to the defendant.

‘Their mobile phones were analysed and significant communications were revealed between them.

‘Kearsley’s requests to Rachael Larkman of photos were constant and arose from his sexual interest.’

The investigation began in June 2018 after police learnt of Kearsley sending inappropriate messages to a 12-year-old girl and inquiries led them to Larkman, a court heard.

She was video-interviewed by police in October 2019, and told them that the defendant was ‘quite obsessed’ with speaking to a young girl she knew and wanted to know whether she had a boyfriend. Kearsley denied any wrongdoing.

Larkman, who admitted distributing indecent images of children, faced up to three years in jail under legal guidelines but was was sentenced to an 18-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

She was also made subject of an 8pm to 6am curfew for three months and was ordered to sign the Sex Offender register for ten years.

Kearsley was jailed for 12 months after he was convicted of sexual communications with a child and encouraging the sharing of indecent images.

He was further ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register for ten years and abide by the terms of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Passing sentence, judge Miss Recorder Anna Vigars QC told Larkman: ‘You are considered to be a vulnerable woman, and particularly in the context of relationships and it’s clear since your arrest that you have sought to address the issues that you found.

‘I accept that you have some learning difficulties – although I have read the text messages between you and Steven Kearsley, which point to you being an intelligent and able communicator.

‘You also sent a number of photos to sustain your own sexual relationship with Steven Kearsley.

‘You did not have to give evidence but you did and whilst no doubt you did that to promote your own position, it is the case that it took considerable courage on your part, and it indicated your remorse.

‘Your offending was simply to keep your own sexual relationship with Steven Kearsley alive. You have demonstrated very significant remorse.’

The judge told Kearsley had it not been for him ‘there would be no offences of this nature’.

‘The requests made by you were in the context of a perverted sexual relationship,’ she said. ‘It was born from your own sexual desires.

‘You show no remorse or acceptance on your part of your guilt.’