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.