February 2018

Online child groomer jailed after paedophile hunter sting

A one armed pervert has been jailed after he turned up to meet what he believed was a 14-year-old girl. However, he was met by online child protection team Dark Light

Steven Lee Howarth, 40 of Salford appeared at Manchester Crown Court where he admitted several sexual offences involving a child which included:

  • Sexual communication with a child 

  • Meeting a child following sexual grooming

The court was told that Howarth had in-fact messaged three girls who he believed were aged 10, 11 and 14 years old.

Howarth sent indecent images as well as video footage of adult pornography to each girl.

In one highly sexualised message, Howarth described to the girl that he had been engaging in sexual activity with a real underage schoolgirl.

He later facilitated a meet with the 14-year-old decoy at Irlam railway station. However, as Howarth waited for the girl to arrive by train, he was apprehended by members of Dark Light.

The team explained that the girls that Howarth was speaking to were all decoys and that he would be arrested. 

Howarth was sentenced to two years in prison of which he would serve half minus one month for which he served on remand

He was handed a sexual harm prevention order and was placed on the sex offenders register for life