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Man snared by vigilante group in Kendal is handed suspended prison sentence

Carlisle Crown Court

A MAN caught by a vigilante group trying to make sexual online advances to what he thought was a 14-year-old boy has been spared prison.

Daniel Mark Cheeseman, 26, was sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court today (THURS) for two offences he committed during a five-week period last year.

Cheeseman had previously admitted attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity; and attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child by sending an explicit image.

The court heard how Cheeseman was confronted at his place of work in Kendal by members of the vigilante group, who live-streamed the encounter on Facebook and contacted police. It emerged he had been in regular contact with what he thought was a 14-year-old boy – but which was actually a “decoy” used by the group.

After reading a background report and references, Judge Peter Davies told Cheeseman he would not receive the professional help he needed in prison. A 12-month jail term was suspended for two years.

Cheeseman, formerly of Kendal, and now living near Harrogate, must complete an accredited sex offender treatment course, 100 hours unpaid work and rehabilitation. He must sign the sex offender’ register, and abide by the strict terms of a prevention order, both for 10 years. “This has got to stop. This us your opportunity to stop,” Judge Davies told him.

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