West Yorkshire Online Sex Offender Jailed

A man who used online chat rooms to groom and incite teenage boys into sexual activity has been sentenced to 9 years.

23 year old Liam George Garth from Baildon, Shipley, appeared at Bradford Crown Court today having previously pleaded guilty to five offences against two victims.

He admitted 5 charges including two counts of grooming boys aged 14 and 15 in an attempt meet up with them and a number of charges where he incited teenagers to engage in sexual activity.

Garth will serve four-and-a-half years in prison and then four-and-a half years on licence when he is released.

He was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which will be reviewed at a later date, and placed on the Sex Offenders' Register indefinitely.

The North Yorkshire Police investigation into Garth's offending lasted more than a year and included victims and potential victims from North and West Yorkshire.

Enquiries are on-going to identify further potential suspects and victims both nationally and internationally in connection with the case.

Detective Constable Andy Rawlings, of the Harrogate Serious Crime Team, said:

"Liam Garth is an extremely manipulative individual who poses a serious risk to impressionable young people.

"It is clear from our investigation that he is a sexual predator and uses various online web chats, Skype in particular, to groom, entice and threaten his victims into committing sex acts for his own gratifications."

"This case is a wake-up call for parents and guardians of young people who may fall victim to criminals like Liam Garth. The very real dangers that lurk online are here to see and it is very worrying."

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