November 2018

Cyber creep who asked schoolgirl for sex in hospital avoids jail

A pervert used Facebook to proposition a 15-year-old girl in hospital for sex via Facebook avoided jail – partly because he’d already served a 20 month sentence for similar offences.

Connor Byrne, 22, now of Kensington Road, Ellesmere Port, appeared at Chester Crown Court today after pleading guilty to three counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He also admitted breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) that had been imposed after he made lewd advances to a 12-year-old girl around the same time.

Peter Hussey, prosecuting, told the court how Byrne had contacted a girl aged 14-15 via Facebook messages which showed ‘it was quite clear he was looking for sexual intercourse’.

The first charge related to an offence in 2014 when she was 14 and Byrne was 17, the next when she was 15 and he was 18 and another soon after.

In one of the messages Byrne suggested she should perform a sex act on him and in another, while she was in hospital, shameless Byrne said ‘imagine getting f***ed in a hospital bed’.

The breach of the Sexual Harm Prevention Order occurred later when he deleted his Google search history.

Mr Hussey said the offences occurred around the same time as Byrne had tried to incite a girl aged 12 into engaging in sexual activity via Facebook towards the end of 2015, and for which he was sentenced to 40 months in prison in 2016, reduced to 20 months on appeal.

The latest set of incitement charges were brought after his victim, now of adult age, saw Byrne, formerly of Foster Street, Widnes while she was out and ‘he looked at her and she found it a bit unnerving’.

Legal discussions took place between Mr Hussey, defence counsel Nicholas Williams and His Honour Judge Patrick Thompson, over whether Byrne would have received a much longer sentence had he been sentenced for all the offences at the same time back in 2016.

The court heard that other than his SHPO breach, he had not been involved in incitement since 2015.

Mr Williams also asked for his guilty pleas to be taken into account and for the court to consider that Byrne had previously not had the chance to undertake any rehabilitation work.

Judge Thompson said Byrne would not have received a significantly greater sentence than he had already served, and, citing the recommendations of a probation report, said it was in the public interest to give Byrne the chance to tackle his issues.

He slapped Byrne with a three-year community order with a requirement to complete the Horizon treatment programme, and a 35-day rehabilitation requirement.

Judge Thompson also updated Byrne’s SHPO to include the name of his second victim with regards to non-contact.

Byrne will also have to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.