October 2016

Convicted sex offender caught with children despite ban


A Hull man could be fitted with a tag police use to monitor terrorists after repeatedly failing to adhere to court orders.

Luke Sweeting, 19, was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (Sopo) in April 2012, after he admitted sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl.

Despite the order banning him from having contact with children under 16, Sweeting was caught exchanging indecent images with another 12-year-old girl on the internet, along with four other breaches.

Sweeting’s latest breaches happened in June and August when he was found to be in the company of young children, Hull Crown Court heard.

Prosecuting Stephen Welch said: “On June 18, he was at the home of a friend’s between 3pm and midnight

“During that time, two children under the age of 16 were present, two three-year-olds.

“His friend confirmed the defendant had been there to police and was playing with the children.”

The court heard how Sweeting, of Westbourne Avenue, west Hull, was also in the company of two boys, aged 15 and 12, on August 20.

Mr Welch said: “CCTV footage showed the defendant interacting with the young boys, dancing and talking.

“The defendant claimed they had followed him, despite him telling them robustly not to. This is not accepted by the Crown.”

Mr Welch said there were various steps the court could take to ensure Sweeting adheres to his order, including being fitted with an electronic tag which police have previously used to monitor terrorist suspects.

Sweeting pleaded guilty to two breaches of his Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

In mitigation, Dale Brook said Sweeting was still a “very young man” and “great care” needed to be taken.

Judge Paul Watson QC adjourned the case for a psychological report to be drawn up on Sweeting.

The judge said: “I am adjourning your case as I need more up-to-date information about you.

“It seems to me that when I am dealing with someone your age for offences which mean I may have to impose a custodial sentence, care must be taken.”

Sweeting will be sentenced on October 28.