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Former Harlow ambulance driver escapes jail after pleading guilty to grooming a child offence

Crime / Thu 7th Dec 2017 at 04:22pm

A man who believed he was meeting an underage boy he met online has been sentenced.

Using an alias, Stephen Youens contacted what he thought was a 15-year-old boy on dating app Grindr on October 10.

However, it was a fake profile belonging to an adult man posing as a teenager.

They had sexual conversations and arranged to meet in Harlow around an hour after Youens first made contact.

It was reported to police, who carried out a search of the area. Youens saw the officers and drove off but was arrested later that day.

The 52-year-old, formerly of Five Acres, Harlow, was charged with attempting to meet a boy under 16 following grooming.

He admitted the offence at Chelmsford Crown Court on November 8 and was sentenced today Thursday, December 7 to an 18-months in jail suspended for two years. He must take part in a sex offender rehabilitation programme and 20 days rehabilitation activity.

He was also made subject of a sexual harm prevention order for ten years and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for ten years.

The court heard that at the time of the offence, Youens had arranged for a number of men to meet for consensual sex.

During police enquiries, there was no evidence to suggest the other men had committed any offences or knew Youens had attempted to contact what he thought was an underage boy.

Youens had been additionally charged with one count of voyeurism and one count of possession of indecent images of a child.

These were discontinued following a review by the CPS of the evidence.

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