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Sex offender jailed after police caught him in sting

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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.”

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Woman found stabbed to death in back garden in Greenwich

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Police arrest man after the body of a woman was found in the back garden of her home in Greenwich.

She suffered stab wounds, cops were called to an ongoing incident at 11.30am on Saturday.

Upon arrival cops found the body of a woman in the back garden in Tunnel Avenue.

The woman, believed to be in her 50s, was pronounced dead at the scene.

She appeared to have suffered stab wounds.

Police believe they know who she is, and are informing her next of kin.

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Heartwarming cops share chips with man who hasn’t eaten for days

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Two police officers this evening shared their chips with a man they found on the motorway who hasn’t eaten food in days.

The caring cops showed compassion and humanity when they could have just nicked the lad and sent him off to the cells.

But instead of taking him straight into police custody they stopped off for some chips.

Showing a truly caring side of British traffic cops who often don’t get the best press.

“The cops from the Leicestershire road policing unit tweeted that they had found on motorway suspected to be an illegal immigrant into the UK.

“He’s not eaten for days and we’ve not eaten for hours, so we’ve all shared some fine English cuisine …… a bag of chips!! 👍🏻 🍟”

These truly caring officers have shown this evening that police officers have hearts and they do care about people.

Policing is not always about crime, it’s the small acts of human kindness that go a long way.

We praise these officers for their genuine out of kindness out of their own pocket.

Helen tweeted “I know you’ll probably get people complain but. Compassion, humanity and care are great qualities.”

UK Cop Humour tweeted “Fab stuff and whilst we’re on the topic of spuds: why do potatoes make good detectives? Because they keep their eyes peeled.”

ElAine tweeted “I know some people’s heads will explode at this but well done for your compassion.”

Simply policing at it’s best. What ever your views you have to admit this is compassion and humility at it’s best.

These cops truly deserve to be recognised for great policing work.

Not every job needs to be a tick box, just because it’s a suspected illegal immigrant doesn’t mean they should be treat any different.

Top job with excellent policing skills, that will have ensured this suspect didn’t cause any problems for the officers.

Full up on chips, the officers then processes this man through custody and will refer to the home office immigration services.

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People injured after explosion at London TubeStation

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Police have evacuated a tube station in North London after terrified commuters reported an ‘explosion’ at the height of the rush-hour.

Homeowners and shopowners were told to stay inside after emergency services swamped Southgate Tube Station shortly before 8pm.

There are not believed to be many casualties.

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