Cumbria

Howard Blackburn jailed over Badoo grooming of girls

Howard Blackburn
Image caption Blackburn used the social networking site to talk to teenagers

A man has been jailed for grooming girls on social networking site Badoo after he was caught by an undercover police officer posing as a teenager.

Howard Blackburn, 27, of St Leonard's Court, Cockermouth, was arrested in August after arranging to meet a 13-year-old in Whitehaven.

Unbeknownst to him, he had been interacting with an undercover officer.

He was sentenced to four years after admitting to a number of sexual offences at Carlisle Crown Court.

He also admitted possession of cocaine.

The court heard that Blackburn had used the site to arrange to meet what he thought was a young girl and was arrested when he arrived at the meeting place.

Following his arrest, officers investigated whether Blackburn groomed real teenage girls.

At court, Blackburn admitted five counts of attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity and one of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.

He was ordered to sign the sex offenders' register for life and made subject of a sexual offences prevention order to restrict his internet usage when he is released from prison.

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