October 2018

“Untreated” sex offender jailed after explicitly messaging ‘teen’

A convicted sex offender has been put behind bars after suggesting a 13-year-old, who was really a local mother posing as a young boy, should be his “slave” on a gay dating app.

Stephen Edward Facchino, who said he had been drinking while sending “extreme sexual content” on Grindr, was jailed for 18 months in the Royal Court this morning.

He was accused of grooming, having attempted to meet young teenager ‘James’ – really local mother and self-styled ‘paedophile hunter’ Cheyenne O’Connor – after contacting him in June.

The pair swapped messages, with Facchino acknowledging his interlocutor’s young age, saying: “surely u [sic] must realise they/me would be very cautious as could cause serious issues if found out.”

Later on, he started discussing sexual activities with the boy. Faccino then suggested “extreme” things he would like to do to ‘James’, Crown Advocate Richard Pedley explained in court. At one point, he said he hoped James would become his “slave” and that he would like to be his boyfriend.

Facchino requested to meet the ‘teen’ when they were alone around La Collette flats, expressing concerns that he would be found out. “Some pope are out to get people like me who like guys your age and stuff would like people like me locked up even tho I won’t hurt a fly [sic],” he wrote.

Police officers arrived to arrest Facchino, who was looking “furtive” according to one officer, at the time of the meeting. The offender was later said to be “visibly upset” when he was arrested and his phone was seized.

But it wasn’t the 33-year-old’s first offence – he had previously been sentenced to a six-month suspended prison sentence for looking at indecent images of children 

In court, he was described as an untreated offender, who had previously denied interest in young boys. However, psychological assessments revealed him to be at high-risk of reoffending.

Advocate Pedley said that his fixation with boys was such that he disregarded the fact his actions were illegal, and described his latest behaviour as a “disturbing development”, having moved from passive consumption of images to actively trying to contact a child.

He moved for a two-year prison sentence and argued that the fact Facchino had been drinking was no excuse.

Deputy Bailiff Tim Le Cocq QC, who was sitting with Jurats Rozanne Thomas and Collette Crill, said that whilst not child had been put at risk, the offence committed by Facchino was still serious.

“You exchanged communications over a short period with a boy you believed to be 13 explaining very sexual practices he admitted he was ignorant of,” he said.

Describing the offence as an “escalation”, he expressed concern that Facchino had not used opportunities to address his offending in the past.

He ordered that Facchino remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years with a 10-year restraining order limiting his access to children online and in real life.

Handing down his prison sentence, he said: “The simple fact is that you discovered someone you believed to be an unexperienced schoolchild on a dating app… This was a highly predatory behaviour… Custody is inevitable.” 

April 2008

No jail for child abuse images downloader

A MAN who downloaded thousands of indecent/abusive images of children has been spared jail.

Steven Edward Facchino (22) was given a six-month suspended prison sentence yesterday in the Royal Court after admitting having videos and pictures of young girls and boys aged between ten and 18 on his computer.

Facchino, who worked as an IT assistant at De La Salle College, was given a further six-month suspended sentence for publishing an obscene story about child abuse on the internet.

But the Royal Court also heard yesterday that all evidence of the images was lost when police damaged the hard drives on Facchino’s computer. This meant that the only evidence police had of the pornography was Facchino’s own admission to them when he was arrested.