August 2017

Sex offender back in jail for targeting children as young as 7 in internet chatrooms

Neil Stewart

A convicted paedophile has been sent back to prison for asking young children for sex in internet chat rooms.

Almost immediately after he was released from prison on licence, Neil Stewart began speaking to primary school aged girls and boys online.

He asked them to marry him, to have sex with him, and showered them with compliments.

Teesside Crown Court heard Stewart breached his sexual harm prevention order 12 times between February and July this year.

In December 2015, he was given a three-year four-month prison sentence for 15 offences, all of which involved sexual activity with children.

He was released from prison in February this year and was on licence when he committed the breaches.

The 22-year-old, who has autism, contacted people who he knew to be under 16.

Prosecutor Harry Hadfield said: “One of the prohibitions is he must not use the internet to contact any person he knew or believed to be under the age of 16.

“When he was released from prison he went into his bedroom where he had a lot of computer equipment.

“The police found he had been contacting a lot of other people who suggest they are under the age of 16.”

The court heard Stewart contacted several girls and boys – some as young as seven – using his Xbox.

He would then ask them to be his “girlfriend” then ask them to marry him.

If they wanted to end the conversation he would threaten to harm himself.

When they questioned Stewart about the age difference, he would reply that “it doesn’t matter”.

Stewart served jail time for having sex with a girl who was under 16 in 2013, sexual grooming and making indecent photographs of a child.

He pleaded guilty to 12 charges, all of which were for breaching a sexual harm prevention order.

Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, said the “flagrant breach” of his sexual harm prevention order made a “very worrying” case.

Stewart, of Mill Lane, Billingham, was jailed for 20 months.

December 2015

Paedophile, 20, who targeted girls as young as 12 on Facebook is jailed

A paedophile who approached girls as young as 12 on Facebook has been jailed and put on the sex offenders’ register for life. 

Neil Stewart, 20, had sex with a 14-year-old girl, engaged in sexual activity and possessed more than 100 indecent images of children. 

Stewart approached the 12-year-old when he was 18 before he kissed her and touched her bottom during a meeting her at his home. 

He also asked the girl to send him pictures of her body despite knowing she was just 12. 

Stewart, of Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees, also had sex and engaged in sexual activity with a 14-year-old who he met online, as well as exchanging explicit pictures and videos with the teenager. 

In a statement read out at Teesside Crown Court the victim said: ‘While I was seeing Neil I liked him.

‘But there were times when I was scared.

‘At the moment I’m not really sleeping well and I’m more scared of men. I’m frightened to go anywhere on my own.’

On another occasion, Stewart threatened another girl, aged 12 or 13, and asked her to send him indecent photos and said if she didn’t he would ‘spread rumours about her or get her brayed’, according to the Gazette. 

He also met another 15-year-old on Facebook in 2014 and when they met up he put his hand down the front of her trousers before she pushed him away. 

Police also discovered 122 indecent photos of children on his electronic devices, which were all in a lower category and involved girls aged between 13 and 15.  

Stewart pleaded guilty to 15 offences, one each of sexual assault of a female child under 13; meeting a child under 16 following sexual grooming and causing a child between 13 and 17 to watch a sexual act; two counts of sexual activity with a female child under 16; seven counts of causing or inciting a female child under 16 to engage in sexual activity; three counts of making indecent photographs of a child.

Jailing him for three years and four months, judge Sean Morris said: ‘If there’s ever an object lesson for parents of young girls regarding the dangers of Facebook, this is one of them.’

The defendant contacted all six victims through social media sites and the offences were committed between November 2013 and June 2014. 

Prosecutor Paul Cleasby told the court the offences came to light when one of the girls’ mother found Facebook messages on her phone from Stewart.  

Stewart was also put on the sex offenders’ register for life and was given a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years. 

September 2015

Man who groomed schoolgirls who he met on internet is to be assessed by psychiatrists

A man who sexually groomed schoolgirls who he met on the internet is to be assessed by psychiatrists in a secure hospital.

A judge ordered Neil Stewart, 20, from Mill Lane, Billingham, should be transferred from prison, where he is being held on charges involving six girls, to Roseberry Park Hospital, Middlesbrough, for the next 11 weeks.

The interim hospital order was made after Stewart pleaded guilty to 15 sexual offences.

The girls, whose identities are protected by law, were aged 12, 13, 14 and 15 when he contacted them on sites such as Facebook.

He admitted engaging in sexual activity with two of them.

Indecent images of 12 and 14 year-old girls were found on his phone and computer.

He asked a 14-year-old girl for photos of her breasts, and he invited the 15-year-old to his house but she refused.

Prosecutor Paul Cleasby said Stewart had pleaded guilty to 15 of the 17 charges he faced, and the Crown offered no evidence on those, asking for not guilty verdicts to be entered.

Mr Cleasby said one of the girls was prepared to read her personal statement out in court at a future hearing.

Duncan McReddie, defending, said that Stewart fell within the boundaries of autism, and he made an application for him to be assessed by psychiatrists under the Mental Health Act.

Stewart has pleaded guilty to:

  • Four charges of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity

  • Three of sexual activity with a child

  • Three of making indecent photographs of children

  • Two of causing or making a child under 13 engage in sexual activity

  • Single charge of sexual assault of a child under 13

  • One charge of meeting a child following sexual grooming

  • One charge of causing or inciting a child to watch a sexual act.

The case was adjourned until December 10.

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