July 2018

IT company boss jailed after sexual online chats with girl in America

A former company director has been jailed after he sent explicit pictures to a girl in America.

Greg Langstaff, 36, made sexual conversation with the underage girl from West Virginia and sent her intimate pictures and video of himself.

At his request, she sent him pictures of herself and filmed herself taking part in sexual activity, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The teenage girl said she was 15 when in fact she was younger, while Langstaff falsely claimed he was 27.

Prosecutor Jonathan Walker said the girl eventually “thought better of it” and broke off contact after two days of online chat in 2015.

Langstaff’s activities came to light when the girl’s mother found images on her phone and called police.

The IP address led officers to Langstaff’s Middlesbrough web design firm.

Langstaff remarked “the girl turned out to be 13” as he was arrested in January 2016.

Images of her were found on his phone in a protracted transatlantic investigation.

Searches for “teen porn” were also discovered – though “the majority of them were perfectly legitimate websites”, added Mr Walker.

And he quizzed users of a messenger app on their ages, telling them: “Sorry I thought you were older.”

But there was no further offending or illegal images of other children.

Langstaff, of Fullerton Way, Thornaby, admitted causing or inciting a child to engage in, and look at an image of, sexual activity, and possessing indecent images of a child.

Judge Sean Morris told Langstaff: “You admit that you have an interest in teenage girls, albeit not necessarily underage girls.

“But that carries a risk because sooner or later you’re going to end up chatting with somebody who is far too young.

“And these people need protection, not just from people like yourself, very often from themselves.

“Initially it has to be accepted the girl said she was older than she was, but she still said she was under 16.

“That’s the time to terminate the conversation. In drink, possibly under the influence of other stimulants, you didn’t.

“There was obviously never going to be any physical contact between the pair of you.”

Langstaff was jailed for two-and-a-half years, given an eight-year sexual harm prevention order and will be on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

His former company said in a statement: “We support the action taken by the authorities and welcome the outcome of the court case and the deterrent sentence given.