York & North Yorkshire

Ex-Coronation Street director sentenced over teen sex chat

Tim Dowd Image copyright PA
Image caption Tim Dowd was freelance TV director who worked on a number of soap operas and dramas

A former Coronation Street director who had sexual conversations with what he thought was a 13-year-old girl has been given a two-year community order.

Tim Dowd, 66, of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, had intimate online chats with a police officer who was posing as a teenager in January 2018.

Dowd talked to an officer pretending to be named Chantelle.

He denied four child sex offences but was found guilty at Leeds Crown Court on 1 March.

Dowd asked "Chantelle" to engage in phone sex with him and to send images of her naked breasts, jurors were told.

He also quizzed her on whether she had ever slept with an older man.

The TV director, who also worked on Emmerdale and Heartbeat during a 30-year career, carried on talking despite repeatedly being told she was 13, prosecutors explained.

Dowd interacted with an online user Chantelle13Cymru, who was an undercover officer, before contacting her on WhatsApp, the court heard.

'Foolish behaviour'

Dowd, of Chatsworth Grove, was convicted of three counts of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and one charge of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, over a four-day period in 2018.

Sentencing him, Judge Rodney Jameson QC said: "It is unfortunate that even at the age of 66 you are tormented by your own sexual desires."

Dowd claimed in his defence he believed he was talking to was an adult pretending to be underage as part of a sexual fantasy.

Mr Saffman, defending Dowd, told the court his client had been guilty of "foolish behaviour" but he had shown no intent to engage in further sexual conversation with the web user.

Dowd was given a five-year sexual harm prevention order in addition to the community order.

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