March 2017

Pervert jailed for 10 years for child sex offences

A “dangerous predator” who incited children as young as 12 to perform sex acts online, which he could then share worldwide with other paedophiles, has been jailed.

Martin Lahiff, from Barrow-in-Furness, pleaded guilty to 14 offences including making indecent images of a child.

Preston Crown Court was told more than 300 images, many in the most serious categories, were found on his computer.

The 26-year-old, of Storey Square, was jailed for 10 years and placed on the sex offenders register for life.

The court was told Lahiff distributed the videos to paedophiles around the world.

He was caught when he attempted to incite someone he thought was a child to commit sexual acts online – but who was really a member of Cumbria Police’s Digital Media Investigation Unit.

Lahiff admitted five counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, five counts of causing a child to watch an image of sexual activity, three counts of making indecent photograph of a child, and possession of extreme pornographic image.

All the offences occurred between July and October 2016.

Cumbria Police described him as a “dangerous predator” who spent a lot of time committing “sickening child sex offences”.

Det Con Ryan Parker said: “He’s dangerous to people anywhere, all over the world.

“The psychological problems this causes children – they have been abused, basically.

“It doesn’t have to be physical abuse to cause long-lasting damage, and Lahiff has done that to hundreds of children.”

October 2016

Barrow man admits sexual offences after being caught by undercover police

A MAN has admitted attempting to engage in sexual activity with a child after being caught by undercover police.

Furness Magistrates’ Court heard that Martin John Lahiff, of Barrow, thought he was communicating with a 13-year-old girl online, but that the other person was an undercover police officer.

Lahiff, 26, pleaded guilty to two sexual offence charges when he appeared at the Barrow court on Saturday.

Lahiff admitted attempting to cause or incite a girl aged 13 to engage in sexual activity, and intentionally engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child for the purposes of sexual gratification. Both charges related to October 27.

Prosecutor, Ms Chrissie Hunt said the defendant, of Storey Square, had been communicating with an undercover police officer and not a child.

The court also heard that Lahiff has previously possessed indecent images of children.

Lahiff’s solicitor, Ms Maureen Fawcett said: “Fortunately it was an under cover police officer and not a 13-year-old girl.”

Ms Fawcett said: “He is ashamed of himself.”

Magistrates committed the case to crown court. The case is next set to be heard before Preston Crown Court on December 2.

Lahiff was remanded in custody until the next hearing.