Gloucestershire

Stroud teenager given sexual offences prevention order

A Stroud teenager who encouraged children to engage in sexual activity over the internet has been given a sexual offences prevention order.

James Whittard, 18, of Lower Street, pleaded guilty to inciting or causing children to engage in sexual activity and making indecent images.

Sentencing at Gloucester Crown Court was deferred to allow time to assess his suitability to attend a sex offenders' treatment programme.

He will now be sentenced next month.

Judge Jamie Tabor said Whittard had committed "deeply unpleasant, manipulative offences", in what was a "particularly worrying case".

Whittard had pleaded guilty to 15 out of 26 charges, committed between the ages of 15 and 17, when he appeared in court in October.

'Digital images'

The judge told him the sexual offences prevention order prevented him from "using any device capable of accessing the internet unless it is capable of storing internet history".

"You are not to possess any device capable of storing digital images unless it is made available for inspection on request," he said.

He also told him he was not allowed to "have any contact with anyone under the age of 16, apart from his sister, unless with approval of social services", and he "must not live in the same household as any child under 16, unless with express approval of social services".

If he breached the conditions of the interim order he would face a maximum sentence of five years, he was told.

The judge said he had not yet decided what sentence he would receive, but a prison sentence was likely.

Previously he has been placed on the sex offenders register.

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