April 2019

Pervert tried to groom 13-year-old girl who was actually undercover police officer

A pervert who tried to groom a 13-year-old girl was caught out when it emerged the ‘teenager’ was an undercover police officer.

When officers seized Stephen Bateson’s computer, they discovered dozens of indecent images of children and pornography involving a snake.

Bateson, 30, of Bournesfield, Hoghton, was in a chatroom for children when he asked the officer – posing as a girl called Olivia – to send him indecent images of herself.

He also suggested meeting in London and suggested sexual activity he would like to engage in with her.

On May 31 2017, officers executed a search warrant at Bateson’s home after receiving a tip off from the Metropolitan Police – who were operating undercover in the chatroom.

His iPad and HTC phone were taken for analysis and dozens of banned images were found on the devices.

Bateson pleaded guilty to attempting to contact a child under 16 for the purpose of sexual activity, making three category C indecent images, possession f 77 prohibited images of a child, possession of extreme pornography involving a snake, making six category A images (the most serious), making six category C images and possessing 66 prohibited images of a child.

He appeared at Preston Crown Court to face sentence.

Throughout the hearing Bateson sat with his head in his hands and told the judge, recorder Mark Ainsworth “I want help.”

The court heard since his arrest Bateson has referred himself to counselling to address his behaviour.

Judge Ainsworth told him: “This case did not actually involve a 13-year-old girl, but you believed it was and you were in effect communicating with someone in the hope or expectation she was a 13-year-old girl called Olivia.

“In respect of the other offences, unlike the conversation with Olivia, these do involve actual children. There are real victims involved in these images.

“It is the activity of people like you at this time that effectively creates a market for these images.”

He handed Bateson a 12 month sentence suspended for two years with a requirement to attend a sex offenders treatment program.

In respect of the other charges, the judge handed Bateson three eight month sentences and two two month sentences to run concurrently to the 12 months.

He also ordered Bateson to carry out 30 days rehabilitation activity requirement and made a sexual harm prevention order, telling him: “Your access to the internet will be restricted and monitored for the next ten years.”

March 2019

Pervert had indecent images

A paedophile was found with a cache of vile child abuse images and a pornographic image involving a snake.

Stephen James Bateson also believed he was corresponding with two children online – but unknown to him he was speaking to an undercover police officer, Preston Crown Court was previously told.

The 30-year-old, of Bournesfield, Hoghton, Preston, has admitted attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, making and possessing indecent photographs of children, and possessing extreme pornography involving animals.

It is understood during the online conversations he suggested kissing, her placing her hands down his trousers and had enquired if she had photographs of herself ‘without clothes’.

His sentencing was adjourned and he is now expected to appear on March 15 instead.