November 2017

Teenage child rapist caught using Plenty of Fish website ‘to find a girlfriend’

A child rapist who was spared jail has been caught using a dating site – despite a court order banning him using an alias.

Luke Hardy was convicted of raping a child when he was 17, but avoided prison for the sex attack.

Now aged 19, he has appeared in court after police caught him on dating site Plenty Of Fish using the pseudonym ‘BoroLad12’

Hardy blamed his mental health for the offence, but a judge dismissed his claim.

District Judge Kristina Harrison said: “There is nothing wrong with his mental health – it doesn’t stop him going on Plenty of Fish.”

Sex offender Hardy, who was also previously convicted of assault by penetration, was given a three year community penalty for the sex attack, along with three years supervision.

He was also handed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and told to sign the Sex Offender’s Register for five years.

But after admitting the breach, the judge slammed Hardy, who was portrayed at Teeside Magistrates’ Court as having little respect towards court orders.

“You are a sex offender whether you like it or not,” she said.

“If you don’t comply with the rules you will go to prison for a very long time.”

Thursday’s sentencing heard Hardy had moved from Teesside to Chester-le-Street following his rape conviction.

Hardy, of Great North Road, previously admitted both failing to comply with the register’s requirements and failing to comply with supervision requirements.

He faced jail but his 18-week sentence was suspended for 18 months.

A 12-week curfew was also imposed, with Judge Harrison adding: “If you come back and you have done it again I will literally throw the book at you.”

Hardy used a phone to shield his face as he left court, but insisted: “I was only talking to adults.”