Stroud teenager escapes prison sentence for sex offences

A Stroud teenager who encouraged children to engage in sexual activity over the internet has avoided prison.

James Whittard, 18, of Lower Street, was given a three-year community order and a six-month curfew when he was sentenced at Gloucester Crown Court.

He was also told he would remain under a sex offenders prevention order until his 24th birthday.

Whittard pleaded guilty to 15 charges, committed between the ages of 15 and 17, in court in October.

He was expected to be sentenced a month later, but this was deferred and Judge Jamie Tabor told him at the time that a prison sentence was likely.

On Tuesday, Judge Tabor said that as well as being supervised for the next three years, Whittard will have to remain indoors between 19:00 and 05:00 daily for the next six months.

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