October 2018

Chester-le-Street man persuaded girls to perform sex acts

AN offender who enticed young girls to perform sex acts on themselves in online “chats” has admitted further similar charges five years after his initial conviction.

Andrew Robert Toon was said to have developed an “abnormal” pornographic interest after initially viewing adult material on his home computer, while drinking, when his original case came before Durham Crown Court, in November 2013.

The court was told he began to access indecent images of children and extreme pornography, while also taking part in illicit social media activity with underage girls.

Toon came clean when Durham Police visited his Chester-le-Street home, after a tip off by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection agency (CYOP), in December, 2012.

The indecent child images were loaded onto a software holding site and were traced to his computer.

It was seized and found to contain 196 indecent images featuring children, plus 77 extreme pornographic scenes, featuring acts of bestiality.

During interviews with police, he also admitted sending indecent images via Skype and chatting to underage girls online, urging them to perform sex acts on themselves.

He admitted charges relating to both the indecent images of a child as well as causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and engaging in sexual activity with a child.

Following defence representations urging to enable him to undergo sex offender treatment in the community, Toon was given a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years.

But, he was also made subject of an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order and registration as a sex offender, for seven years.

On his return to court, almost five years since that conviction, the now 32-year-old defendant, of Wynyard, Chester-le-Street, admitted two counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity and one of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, in each case the victim being aged 12.

Toon also admitted possessing and making indecent images of a child, and possessing extreme pornography, plus breaching the 2013 Sexual Offences Prevention Order by contacting a child having accessed social media networks on the internet.

Having put in his pleas, Toon’s counsel, Yvonne Taylor, said: “Certain disclosures have been made to those instructing me and we feel there’s a need for a psychiatric report.”

Judge Christopher Prince agreed and adjourned the case until December 21, remanding the defendant to remain custody until then.