‘Dangerous’ Barrow Man Jailed For Over 2 Years For Online Child Sex Offences

A ‘dangerous ‘ Barrow man has been jailed following an investigation by detectives into online child sex offences.

John Ward, 63, of Sutherland Street, was sentenced yesterday, March 30, at Preston Crown Court to two and a half years for the following offences:

  • Attempt to engage in sexual communication with a child.
  • Attempt to facilitate the commission of a child sex offence.
  • Breach of a sexual harm prevention order.
  • Fail to comply with notification requirements.

Ward’s offending was captured by the Constabulary’s Cyber & Digital Crime Unit when Ward was messaging a person he believed to be a 14-year-old boy in November last year. Ward was in fact communicating with a specialist police officer via a social media platform.

Ward arranged to meet the ’14-year-old’ at the Tesco Express store on Rawlinson Street, where he was met by police officers who swiftly arrested him.

During the messaging, Ward sent numerous explicit sexualised messages.

The investigation forms part of Operation Alliance, Cumbria Constabulary’s ongoing response to serious and organised crime.

Detective Constable Sarah Aiston, Cumbria Constabulary’s Cyber & Digital Crime Unit, said: “John Ward is a dangerous man who used social media to communicate with a person he thought to be a 14-year-old boy.

“Despite him being clearly aware that the person he was messaging had said they were 14, he continued to explicitly detail sexualised thoughts and arranged to meet them in person.

“The terms of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, which Ward was subjected to from previous offending, prohibited him from having any unsupervised contact or communication or contact with a male child under the age of 16. He flagrantly breached this order.

“We are committed to investigating and pursuing offenders, such as Ward, and will continue to do so to keep children safe.”