January 2010

Net sex offender is spared prison term

A SEX offender who met his teenage victim on Facebook has been spared jail because he will not get the treatment he needs behind bars.

David Leach was warned that he will be locked up if he does not comply with the programmes designed to reduce his risk to others.

Leach offered the 15-year-old a bar job and invited him to look around, but instead took him to his home and carried out a sex act.

Teesside Crown Court heard that the teenager did not want to report the encounter to police, but was pushed into it by a friend.

He then told officers he did not want to make a complaint because he was not forced into what happened at Leach’s home.

Leach, of Jubilee Street, Middlesbrough, admitted a charge of engaging in sexual activity with a child on March 19, last year.

The 42-year-old was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with two years of probation service supervision.

He was also put on the sex offenders’ register for ten years and banned from working with children for life as part of strict order.

Judge Les Spittle also ordered Leach to carry out 35 sessions of an internet sex offenders’ treatment programme in the community.

The judge told him: “That’s a rigorous course and requires 100 per cent response and co-operation from you.

“The type of course you need would not be available in a custodial setting.

“This is an opportunity that should be taken.”

Stephen Constantine, mitigating, said: “It is very clear that those with expertise in these matter think society will be better served by this course.”