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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