September 2018

Radio DJ and prominent LGBT activist used Grindr app to ‘meet boy, 15, in Tesco for cuddle and a peck’

A prominent LGBT activist used Grindr to arrange to ‘meet a 15-year-old boy for a cuddle and peck’ in a Tesco store.

Community radio station radio DJ Christopher Oatway, 26, used the dating app to speak to someone who he believed was a teenage boy.

But when he arrived at Tesco in Chorlton, Manchester, in July last year, he realised the child was in fact an adult.

They demanded Oatway hand over cash, threatening to report him to the police if he didn’t cough up.

He handed over £50

Oatway’s crime was exposed a year later when he arranged to meet another ’15-year-old boy’, who turned out to be a member of a ‘paedophile hunter’ group.

Manchester Crown Court heard Oatway – who was involved in organising LGBT pride events in Stockport, Trafford and Rochdale – had been talking to someone purporting to be called ‘Cody’ on Grindr.

They later agreed to meet in Manchester city centre.

There Oatway, from Stockport, was met by a man.

Police seized items from his home, including a mobile phone.

Analysis revealed the Grindr conversations a year earlier and details of the meet-up at Tesco.

Oatway, who has no previous convictions, appeared at court relating to the earlier incident in Chorlton.

The Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence relating to the incident in Manchester city centre.

He was sentenced to a two-year community order, including a sex offender treatment program, after admitting attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

Oatway must also sign the sex offender’s register for five years.

Sentencing, Judge Richard Mansell QC told Oatway: “You have an issue here that needs addressing.”

The judge said in a pre-sentence report that Oatway was in ‘denial’ about having a sexual attraction to children.

“That can’t be so,” the judge added.

“You have demonstrated you were attracted by the thought of meeting a 15-year-old.”