October 2017

Colchester pervert messaged 12-year-olds on Snapchat and gave them ‘expensive gifts’

A Colchester man who contacted 12-year-old boys on Snapchat and gave them “expensive gifts” has been warned by a judge to “listen to his mother” as he narrowly avoided jail.

Already convicted paedophile Leslie Weeding, 38, admitted breaching his sexual harm prevention order after he messaged two boys over Snapchat offering to fix their pedal bikes for free and gave them gifts including an iPhone.

Weeding had been in contact with a number of young boys and had a hobby of repairing pedal bikes and was also known to have a motorbike.

He had offered to repair some bikes and had been in contact with a 12-year-old boy.

The boy had assumed it was somebody of his own age but about three of four weeks prior to reporting the defendant to the police, his mum had spoken to the mother of another young boy.

She alerted her to the fact that Weeding had convictions in relation to child sexual abuse images and became more watchful of what her son was doing.

 

Soon, the mother became aware that the person her son was meeting with was the same person she was warned about.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard on Thursday (October 26) how Weeding had given the boy expensive gifts including a bike helmet and an iPhone with a sim card and credit.

He had also fixed the boy’s bike for free, given him cash and gave him his bank card with his pin number.

His mother had become aware that Weeding had been messaging her son and had invited him to go round his house and smoke cannabis with him.

The boy’s sister also discovered Facebook messages sent on her iPad device that appeared to be grooming behaviour.

The police were contacted and Weeding was arrested on February 16, 2016.

Officers examined his phone and discovered he had been talking to the boys over Snapchat and Facebook.

His sexual harm prevention order prevented him for contacting boys under the age of 16 after he was sentenced for making indecent images of children in 2016.

 

Weeding pleaded guilty to breaching the sexual harm prevention order.

Judge Patricia Lynch called Weeding into the witness box so that she could talk to him “eye to eye”.

 

She told him: “Because of what you have done in the past, you must not contact young boys at all. You must not encourage them to come round, you must not message them, you must not contact young boys at all.

“No one is saying that you were sexually motivated, but the whole point of these orders is to make sure that children are safe.

“You should listen to your mum. As a mother myself, mothers always get it right.

“If you approach young boys again I will send you to prison, do you understand?”

Judge Lynch handed him a three-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

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