May 2017

Barrow man jailed after admitting child sex offences against 12-year-old boy

A man from Barrow who is well-known for his involvement with local amateur dramatics groups has been jailed after pleading guilty to the sexual grooming of a young boy.

Thomas Christopher Halfpenny, known as Tommy, admitted sexual grooming a 12-year-old boy when he appeared at Preston Crown Court last month.

The court heard that Halfpenny, of York Street in Barrow, had on at least two occasions, had conversations with the boy, knowing he was under 16, before arranging to meet him on Saturday August 8 of last year.

The 30-year-old was jailed for 14 months and will be subjected to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years.

The court was told that at the time of the offences, Halfpenny was approaching his 30th birthday and the victim was 12 years old

Halfpenny first contacted the boy over the internet.

The boy admitted very early on into the conversation that he was 12 years old and was a first year at the local secondary school.

Halfpenny immediately turned the conversations sexual.

After several weeks of grooming,  a meeting was set up.

Perverted Halfpenny told the boy to meet him outside a local park where he would walk past him, give him the nod so the boy could follow at a distance.  He told the boy to meet him in this manner so as not to arouse any suspicion.

The boy was then told to follow Halfpenny to his home address in York street, Barrow.

Halfpenny made the excuse that the front room was being decorated so they would have to go to the bedroom.

A few days later, Halfpenny continued to contact the boy online, which included sending pictures of his penis to the boy. He made several comments to the boy about deleting his messages.

The family of boy became suspicious of their sons actions and discovered the content of the his phone and the sexually explicit messages and photos. The police were called and Halfpenny was arrested that evening.

Halfpenny is a well known face in the Barrow area. He is a lead member of the local amateur dramatics groups

He was arrested at the after show party of his latest show “spamalot”.