December 2019

Online pervert caught by paedophile hunters

A pervert from west Cumbria who was snared by a paedophile hunter has been warned he faces a possible jail sentence.

At Carlisle Crown Court, Stephen McCue, 59, entered a guilty plea to a single charge of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity between June and June 10.

The court heard that at the time he believed he was communicating with a 13-year-old girl.

Judge Julie Clemitson ruled that the defendant should be sentenced on January 17.

In the meantime, McCue, of Mona Road, Salterbeck, Workington, was told he would be released on bail subject to stringent conditions.

These include that he has no unsupervised contact with any child and no access to the internet, including social media. Any access to does have to the internet must be approved by the police.

He will also have his name and details entered on to the Sex Offenders’ Register.

The length of time McCue will be on the register will depend on his sentence.

Judge Clemitson told the defendant: “You will receive credit for your guilty plea when you come back to this court to be sentenced on January 17.”

The judge ordered that the Probation Service should now prepare a pre-sentence background report on the defendant.

This will assess what risk he poses to the public.

The judge continued: “By adjourning the case and ordering a report I am not giving a promise or indication of how the case will be resolved.

“You are at risk of a custodial sentence.”

Judge Clemitson added that the defendant’s bail conditions will also prevent him from living in any household where there is a girl present aged under 16.

The prosecution was brought after the defendant was targeted in an online paedophile hunter’s sting.

The man behind that operation, Sam Miller, 25, was in court to see McCue plead guilty.