A “SNEAKY” convicted teen sex offender who befriended two 14-year-old girls by using fake names and illegally-held phones in defiance of a strict court order has been jailed.
Tyler Alan Lockhart had originally been cautioned as 13-year-old, in 2015, for a child sex crime, and was then given a detention and training order the following year for six similar but more serious offences. For the latter, he received a sexual harm prevention order which banned him both from having internet-accessible mobile phones and using social media.
But last year, aged 17, Lockhart used an illegally held phone as he sent a string of non-sexual texts to a Lancashire-based 14-year-old girl whose concerned parents alerted police.
While being investigated for that matter, in March this year, Lockhart turned 18 and swiftly used fake Facebook names as he identified, targeted and made a friend request to another 14-year-old girl. He sent her “flattering” messages which, Carlisle Crown Court heard today (THURS), were “verging on grooming” and then pestered her to meet him.
After exchanging messages and photos on Snapchat, the pair did meet in her north Cumbria village in early April without her parents’ knowledge and despite the country being in lockdown. “During those messages he not only used different names but also different SIM cards and phones, no doubt in an attempt to hide what he was doing,” prosecutor Antony Longworth said of his offending.
Lockhart was later found by police hiding in the loft of his mother’s Carlisle home, and went on to admit three SHPO breaches.
Despite hearing of the teen’s difficult upbringing and six months spent on remand in Durham Prison, Recorder Katherine Pierpoint jailed him for 20 months, describing the breaches as “serious and persistent”, and his behaviour as “sneaky”. A new SHPO was also imposed which now bans Lockhart, latterly of Princes Court, Penrith, from having any unsupervised contact or communication with under-16s.
Detective Inspector Andy Teasdale said: “The conditions of Lockhart’s sexual harm prevention order were clear. The order stipulated that that he had to notify police of any mobile phone that he used, so our officers could manage the risk he posed to young girls.
“Despite him pleading guilty to the offence, when first questioned Lockhart claimed that the phone found at his address was not his. Our investigation found that he used the phone to target vulnerable girls in efforts to meet up with them.
“Lockhart is a registered sex offender and his risk is carefully managed by experienced offender managers. This is an example of the positive action we will take against offenders who fail to comply with the strict restrictions placed on them.”
The sentencing was issued at a time where the county’s police force are highlighting the proactive policing measures undertaken to protect vulnerable people and bring offenders to justice. Operation MOVIE is providing the public with information on policing activity which is undertaken every day to keep vulnerable people safe. The Constabulary’s MOSOVO Unit, which is a prime example of the effective work carried out by police, consists of experienced officers dedicated to managing the risk posed by sexual and violent offenders within Cumbrian communities.
DI Teasdale added: “Our MOSOVO officers manage registered sex offenders (RSOs) through the use of notification requirements, civil orders which carry stringent restrictions, risk assessment tools and risk management plans.
“Protecting children and vulnerable people from sexual harm is a key priority for the Constabulary and our partner agencies. The work of our MOSOVO officers in managing the reintegration of RSOs into the community and prevent them from reoffending is crucial to protecting the public.”