Manchester

Police sting catches guitar tutor grooming 'teenager'

A guitar tutor who was caught in a police sting trying to groom a 14-year-old girl for sex on the internet has walked free from a Manchester court.

Philip Blacklock, 33, from Bolton admitted having "sexualised" online exchanges with "Tracey, aged 14", who was an undercover police officer.

The father-of-three, who pretended to be 19, arranged to meet her for sex, Minshull Street Crown Court heard.

Blacklock was given a three year supervised community order.

'A predator'

Judge Jeffrey Lewis told Blacklock: "I have come to the conclusion, throwing a great deal of mercy in your favour, it is not necessary to send you to prison today - only just.

"You were grooming her and you were grooming her in order to have sexual contact with her, of that there can be no doubt. You were a predator."

Blacklock of Siemens Street, Horwich, was arrested at a Salford shopping centre on 18 November where he had said he would meet "Tracey".

He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to attempting to meet a child under 16 after sexual grooming.

After his arrest Blacklock told police that his wife had an affair and he was angry and upset and wanted some attention.

The court heard that if he went to prison, he would lose the family home.

Blacklock was ordered to attend a sex offenders programme.

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