March 2018

Canvey Island sex offender jailed after sending girl explicit image

A “cunning” sex offender sent a 13-year-old girl photos of his penis before telling police that his social media accounts had been hacked.

Sam Lumley, 23, accepted a Facebook message request from his victim before moving the conversation to Snapchat, knowing the messages would vanish within 24 hours, and sending her an image of his genitals.

But when reports of his vile actions began to circulate on social media, Lumley deleted his Facebook account before calling Essex Police to lie about being the victim of hacking.

After being charged, Lumley denied any wrongdoing, which meant his victim had to give evidence against him at trial.

He was eventually found guilty of inciting a child to look at an image of sexual activity.

This morning (Monday, March 5), Lumley, of Furtherwick Road, Canvey Island, came before Basildon Crown Court to be sentenced.

Prosecutor Peter Clark told the court how the defendant had been engaged in a sexual conversation with a woman on Facebook messenger shortly before 9pm on February 21, 2016.

Just minutes afterwards, he received a conversation request from the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

He quickly accepted the girl’s invitation to chat and within a few messages had established her age.

The conversation, which included sexual exchanges instigated by Lumley, led to him suggesting they continue to speak over Snapchat, a move which allow him to engage in his criminal behaviour in a less detectable manner.

During the conversations, he sent three images, with one showing an erect penis which is thought have been the defendant’s.

Lumley was eventually caught out when a female member of the victim’s family became aware of the conversation and continued to message the defendant to see what his intentions were.

When it became clear that he was a sexual predator, reports of his actions began to circulate online.

“It was clear to him that people in the community were aware of his actions and were complaining about them,” Mr Clark said.

Just before 6pm the following day, the defendant contacted Essex Police to claim he had been hacked and was also receiving threats for acts he claimed he had not committed.

Mr Clark described Lumley’s attempts to conceal his tracks as “cunning”.

Following his subsequent arrest, the defendant’s phone was examined and two photographs recovered were “very similar” but not identical to ones sent to the complainant.

Investigating officers also discovered the messages sent by the defendant must have been sent from within his home based on the IP address.

Turning to the pre-sentence report, the prosecutor said: “He sticks to his dishonest account.

“He remains in denial of the offence.”

Before defence barrister Lynne Shirley addressed the court, Judge Ian Graham spoke about how the defendant’s actions displayed elements of grooming.

“The move from Facebook to Snapchat showed planning,” the judge added.

“Because it was a child, he chose to move it to Snapchat.”

 

Judge Graham again raised his viewpoint that Lumley’s actions displayed elements of grooming, something his barrister disagreed with.

“It’s very different from someone who communicates with a child and then goes to meet them,” said Ms Shirley.

Considering the arguments put before the court, the judge noted that the jury had rejected Lumley’s defence by convicting him on January 18 and that he had shown no remorse or acceptance for what he had done.

It was also stated that while the defendant was capable of having normal sexual interactions with adult women, he was still willing to engage in illegal conduct with a child.

Re-examining what happened on the night of the offence, Judge Graham pointed out the fact that Lumley established his victim’s age and continued the conversation.

“From this point on he knew he was dealing with a child,” the judge said.

“Two minutes later he asked her for her Snapchat account.

“He knew what he was about to propose was illegal.

“There was therefore planning on his behalf.”

Dressed in a light blue suit and tie, the defendant was asked to stand as the judge handed down the sentence of imprisonment, shaking his head at several points during the hearing.

There were cries from the public gallery as Lumley was sentenced to 22 months in prison, with his mother audibly sobbing as the judge ordered he be taken into custody.

Lumley was also made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for the next ten years, a condition of which prevents him being alone with girls under the age of 16.

Before the end of the hearing, Judge Graham said: “How you found yourself in that situation, what was happening that night, I do not know.

“Courts are here to protect children and others.

“In light of everything that I have heard, that is the least possible sentence this court can pass.”