July 2018

Pervert avoids prison sentence

A married man who pretended to be a 16-year-old girl online was “racked with remorse” after he was caught by an undercover cop posing as an 11-year-old girl.

Daniel Hackett, 31, claimed to be a teenage girl from Leeds called Caitlin, using a picture of a random stranger to help the deception, when he was snared in the sting.

He believed he was talking to an 11-year-old girl called Hannah who used the name “Princess Unicorn”, in fact an undercover police officer.

He asked whether she had a boyfriend and “liked older guys”.

Then he introduced himself on Skype as the 30-year-old brother of the fictitious Caitlin, Teesside Crown Court heard on Monday.

“The conversation quickly moves on to boyfriends and sex,” said prosecutor Jenny Haigh.

Hackett asked about the girl’s body and whether she had ever had sex, then suggested going to a park or a hotel to have sex.

He told her she would have to keep it secret from her parents in the chat on November 29 last year.

Hackett was arrested and his phone and computer seized, but no evidence was found of any further offending or conversations.

He said he was home alone at the time of his offending, no one else knew about it and he falsely portrayed himself as a 16-year-old so he could “talk to different people”.

Hackett, of Harrogate Crescent, Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, admitted attempting to make sexual communication with a child

Judge Howard Crowson immediately told Hackett: “You’re not going to prison and I suspect that’s what’s been frightening you”

Hackett was given an 18-month community order with a sex offender group work programme and 25 days’ rehabilitation activity.

He was given a sexual harm prevention order restricting his contact with under-16s and internet use, and will be on the sex offenders’ register, both for five years.

May 2018

Linthorpe paedophile snared by police posing as 11-year-old girl in chat room

A paedophile who believed he was speaking with an 11-year-old girl online and asked to meet in a hotel for sex was actually speaking to an undercover police officer.

Daniel Hackett was snared after logging in to a chat room and entering into a highly sexual conversation with an officer who was pretending to be a youngster called ‘Hannah’.

The 31-year-old pervert appeared at Teesside Magistrates’ Courton Wednesday where he pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual conversation with a child.

The court heard that Hackett entered an online chat room called Lycos on November 29 last year where he himself pretended to be a teen called Caitlin.

Under his guise he entered into a conversation with ‘Hannah’ whose chat handle was “Princess Unicorn” and began asking about boyfriends.

He then sent over pictures of a teenage girl he found online purporting to be of Caitlin.

Lynne Dalton, prosecuting, said that Hackett then “engaged with Hannah on Skype messenger” pretending to be Caitlin’s brother.

She said that Hackett did this “despite being told Hannah was 11-years-old.”

After an initial introduction, Hackett then began instigating sexual chat and “suggested they meet and have sex in a hotel”.

“He continued the sexual chat and said it would have to be in secret”, Ms Dalton added.

Hackett was arrested at home after officers tracked the ISP address of the computer he was using.

When interviewed he told police he had taken the day off work and was online but “had not created the profile” specifically for a sexual chat.

He said he purported to be a 16-year-old girl “just so he could talk” and believed Hannah to be 18.

The court heard that although he spoke of wanting to meet Hannah, he had no real intentions of doing so.

Hackett, of Harrogate Crescent, Linthorpe, will be sentenced at Teesside Crown Court at a date which is to be set.

A pre-sentence probation report was also prepared.

He was given unconditional bail until his sentencing date.

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