BREAKING HOME COUNTIES

Man Jailed for Grooming offences

A man has been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment after being convicted of two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Dale Lucas, aged 27, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to the two offences in a hearing at Reading Crown Court on Monday (15/4).

Between February and March 2017, Lucas initiated online contact with two teenage girls in different parts of the country.

During his contact with a 13-year-old, Lucas formed an online relationship with her and discussed meeting. Through online messaging, Lucas incited his victim to engage in sexual activity with him, although they never met.

During interaction with a second victim, a 15-year-old girl, Lucas again discussed meeting with her and sent her graphic sexual messages.

Lucas was arrested on 29 May 2017 and following a lengthy investigation, was subsequently charged with the two offences on 15 February 2019.

After entering a guilty plea to both offences, Lucas was sentenced to a total of two years in prison.

He was also made subject to a ten-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Rob Gibson, of Force CID based at Maidenhead police station, said: “This case highlights the dangers faced by children while they are online, and I would urge parents to monitor their online activity.

“It was only due to the vigilance of the 13-year-old victim’s mother, who found the messages on her iPad, that further harm was not done.

“Thankfully, the 15-year-old victim felt uncomfortable with the contact from Lucas and stopped talking to him of her own accord.

“Lucas entered a guilty plea at the first opportunity and I am pleased that the court recognised the danger and handed down a custodial sentence.”

KB