Connect with us

News

Sex offender jailed after police caught him in sting

Published

on

Howard Blackburn, aged 27 years of St Leonards Court, Cockermouth, has been sentenced to four years at Carlisle Crown Court today.

On Monday 5th August 2013, Blackburn was arrested by officers from Cumbria Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit after he arranged to meet who he thought was a 13 year old girl in Whitehaven. The 13 year old girl he was interacting with via an internet chat room was in fact a Police Officer.

Blackburn’s arrest was as a result of a proactive policing operation which commenced in late July 2013, when Blackburn used the Badoo chat site to engage with who he thought was a 13 year old girl. He went on to highly sexualise the conversations, and over the following days he carried out sexual grooming and arranged a meeting in Whitehaven.

When Blackburn turned up at the pre-arranged meeting place, he was immediately arrested by waiting Police Officers on Monday 05 August 2013.

He was charged with an offence of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming and remanded in custody, and also later charged with attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

Officers from West Cumbria’s Public Protection Unit then carried out an extensive investigation in relation to establishing whether Blackburn had conversed with other genuine teenage girls. As a result of that investigation, Blackburn was charged with four further offences of attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

Blackburn pleaded guilty to all of the offences, and also an additional offence of possession of cocaine.

On Monday 23rd December 2013, Blackburn appeared at Carlisle Crown Court where he was sentenced to four years imprisonment. He will also be subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which will restrict his usage of the internet once released from Prison to ensure he cannot engage with young children.

He received three two-year sentences that run concurrently and two two-year sentences that run concurrently and consecutively. Blackburn was also ordered to sign the sex register for life.

Speaking after the sentence, Detective Chief Inspector Rob O’Connor of Cumbria Constabulary, said: “Blackburn’s arrest was as a result of a proactive operation conducted by the Police to ensure that young children can use social media and remain safe. Although the offence which lead to his arrest involved an undercover Police Officer, the further enquires we carried out indicated that Blackburn was using chat rooms to have highly sexualised conversations with a number of teenage girls.

“He made detailed plans to arrange and meet who he thought was a 13 year old girl for his own sexual gratification. His arrest and sentence should send a real strong message out to others that we are watching them, and we will target them with a view to putting them in front of the Courts with the assistance of other partner agencies. The Crown Prosecution Service have played an integral role in ensuring a successful conviction.

“Once released from Prison, Blackburn will be subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order. This order will place restrictions on his use of the internet which will ensure he cannot target young girls again in the same manner. His custodial sentence will give him the time to reflect on his actions, and my message is simple that we will target others if they engage in similar activity to Blackburn.

“I want to reassure parents that Cumbria Constabulary is fully committed to ensuring children in the County remain safe, and the use of an undercover Police Officer demonstrates that we have a number of tactics available to us. I want to reiterate previous messages to ensure that our children are safe when on online. Our recent internet safety campaign highlighted some of the ways in which parents can help to ensure their child’s safety, and also the work we are doing to tackle child sexual exploitation. For more information , please visit http://www.cumbria.police.uk/advice-and-information/online-safety.”

Judge Hughes said: ”It is a sad factor of modern society that children lose their innocence much faster than time gone by.”

Comments

comments

Trev Sherwood is the founder & blogger at the UK’s Leading Crime & Policing News. Delivering you breaking news, insightful analysis, legislation & positive news!

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

News

10k cases could be affected ‘tampered samples which include rape and murder convictions in forensic data manipulation.

Published

on

More than 10,099 cases may have been affected by alleged data manipulation by individuals working at a Randox Testing Services forensics laboratory in Manchester.

These include thousands of toxicology samples some of these include samples used to secure rape and murder convictions

It is believed these have been tampered with and could no longer be considered reliable.

Many rape and murder convictions could now be overturned.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

News

Gaia Pope no injuries to suggest any other person was involved in her death

Published

on

Dorest Police have confirmed that they do not believe another person was invloved within 19-year-old Gaia Pope’s death.

Those arrestes on suspiscion of her murder have been released from police custody but remain under police investigation.

At around 3pm yesterday, Saturday 18 November 2017, specialist search teams discovered the body of a woman near the coastal path and the field where items of her clothing were located on Thursday 16 November near Swanage.

Although the body has yet to be formally identified, officers are confident that it is Gaia and her family is being supported by specially-trained officers.

Detective Superintendent Paul Kessell, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “The post-mortem examination has not identified any injuries to suggest any other person was involved in her death. The cause of death is undetermined pending toxicology.

“The coroner is involved in the oversight of these examinations but at this time this remains an investigation into an unexplained death.

“We would like to take this further opportunity to pass our thoughts to Gaia’s family who we continue to support and who ask for respect of their privacy at this incredibly stressful time.

“Once again I would like to pass our thanks to the public volunteers and partner organisations who have supported this inquiry throughout and have been material in locating Gaia.

“The area where the body was located is likely to remain cordoned off for some time while forensic examinations and searches are concluded.

“Please can I ask that the public no longer attend to assist with searches and that they remain a safe distance from the location. I reiterate this area is steep and slippery in an exposed area close to sea cliffs. The area is covered in dense undergrowth and gorse and can present a hazard. Only specially-trained search and forensic teams are entering the area, assisted by Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service recovery teams.”

Gaia’s family is issuing their thanks to the Find Gaia volunteer group for all their hard work and unwavering support.

Two men aged 19 and 49 and a 71-year-old woman, all from Swanage and known to Gaia, were arrested on suspicion of murder earlier this week and have been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

News

We want to help you but we know you don’t like us being involved

Published

on

We know you follow this account and want you to see this, We’ve told you previously that we think you are at risk of domestic abuse from your partner. We know you follow this account and we want you to see this.

Lochaber & Skye Police have penned an emotional letter addressed to ‘a young woman in Skye”.

The official Police Scotland account won the best tweeting police account at the UK-wide Police Tweet Awards in 2016 and could just take the 2017 title as next week.

They went on to say “We want to help you and are doing lots with other agencies to try and keep you safe.

“You might not see us, you might not even like us being involved but we are always thinking about how we can help you.”

“Your family and friends have told you they think you are in danger they support you and want you to be safe”.

“We think he’s probably told you, “it won’t happen again”, “I’m sorry”, “I’ll change”, he’s maybe even told you that it’s your fault – IT’S NOT.”

“The violence, threats, degrading comments and controlling behaviour are not the life you need to lead, it can be better.”

“You are not trapped and you are not alone, we can help you get out, your family and friends can help you get out and Scot Women’s Aid can help you get out.

Call us, come to the Police Station, phone someone, speak to local Women’s Aid worker on 01478613365 or 08000271234.”

“There is no excuse for domestic abuse, help is out there.”

Lochaber & Skye Police then went on to thank everyone for the positive response to the domestic abuse appeal.

They told everyone that the meaning behind it was to “reach-out to anyone who may be at risk”.

Hopefully, by sharing this another young lady, lady or even young man or man could be helped from harm.

 

Comments

comments

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Facebook

Trending