Jarrow paedophile told ’12-year-old’ to pose as his niece if anyone asked at the Metrocentre
Online predator Michael Hancock tried to meet a 12-year-old at the Metrocentre and told her to pose as his niece if they saw anyone they knew.
The paedophile, who has previously worked “with youths and in hospitals”, thought he was talking to a real child when he sent images of his genitals and turned the conversation sexual but, fortunately, it was actually an undercover police officer.
Newcastle Crown Court the officer had set up a profile online purporting to be an 18-year-old from Tyne and Wear, with which Hancock began to communicate in October 2021. He was soon told the girl was in fact 12 and he said he was 57.
The conversation quickly moved to Snapchat and turned sexual. Hancock sent a photograph of his legs in the bath and then his groin area. The profile replied with a message written on a child’s arm saying “show me” and Hancock sent images of his penis.
Ian Cook, prosecuting, said: “He said he would buy gifts for her and she should not let her family know about the conversation and he arranged to meet her at the Metrocentre. He said if they saw anyone they knew they should say they were uncle and niece.
“He said they should be careful because if he was caught he would be called a paedo.” He then went on to ask further intimate questions and discussed his sexual habits.
Mr Cook said: “He said he wanted to kiss her all night and hold her close. He arranged to meet her at the Metrocentre but was intercepted by police and arrested.”
Hancock, 59, of Edinburgh Road, Jarrow, pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and was sentenced to eight months suspended for two years with a four-month curfew. He will also be subject to a sexual harm prevention order and will have to sign the sex offenders register for the next ten years.
Judge Julie Clemitson told him: “You believed that girl to be somewhat vulnerable and in the care system, yet rather than take actions any responsible adult would have done, which was immediately desist in talking to that child and even report the profile, you instead chose to continue to chat.
“You did so in a way which has the hallmarks of a predator, frankly. You slowly, over a period of time, gained that child’s trust by talking in a non-sexual way, offering to take her out and buy her gifts, then slowly but surely you introduced a sexual element to the conversation.
“You spoke about meeting at the Metrocentre and agreed a cover story should anyone ask who you were. You engaged in chat about various sexual practices and sent images of your penis to that, what you believed to be, 12-year-old child.
“It’s clear you have a sexual interest in young girls, however much you protest to the probation officer that you do not. Your behaviour was predatory.
“The seriousness of this kind of offending should not be underestimated. Just because there was not a real child doesn’t mean this kind of offending doesn’t lead to serious consequences. Children suffer day in and day out because of online paedophiles like yourself.”
Sam Faulks, defending, said: “He has been a working man who has contributed to society by his taxes and toil. He has previous good character and he cares for his elderly uncle and if he is locked up he will not have that additional assistance from his nephew.”
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Paul Cattermole cause of death revealed after S Club 7 star died aged 46
S Club 7 star Paul Cattermole’s cause of death has been revealed by coroners, a month after he died at the age of 46.
The singer was found in his Dorset home on 6 April, and was pronounced dead shortly after.
A spokesperson for the Dorset Coroner’s Service said: “I can confirm that Mr Cattermole died from natural causes and our investigations have concluded.”
Police have claimed that investigations into Cattermole’s death are still ongoing.
Cattermole found fame as one of the members of the pop group S Club 7. The band were preparing for a reunion tour before Cattermole’s sudden death.
Last week, it was announced that fellow S Club 7 member Hannah Spearitt, who once dated Cattermole, had dropped out of the 25th anniversary reunion tour.
The group’s five remaining members revealed that they were renaming the band S Club for the forthcoming tour, which will be called the Good Times tour in honour of their late bandmate. Cattermole had performed lead vocals on the band’s 2001 hit of the same name.
S Club now comprises Jo O’Meara, 44, Jon Lee, 41, Rachel Stevens, 45, Tina Barrett, 46, and Bradley McIntosh, 41.
Cattermole’s former bandmates shared heartfelt tributes to their former friend and collaborator in the days following his death.
In an emotional video shared on the group’s Instagram page, Lee said: “We have been in a bit of shock, and it has taken a while for us to find the right words to describe how we feel about losing our brother Paul.”
Stevens said: “Just taking the time to process and get our heads around it all, and also taking time to share time together so that we could remember Paul and all the memories we had together.”
McIntosh described Cattermole as a “big brother to us, all of us and you guys out there”, adding: “He truly was a unique specimen of human being.”
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Sunderland’s Roker and Seaburn beaches honoured with Blue Flags and Seaside Awards for 2023
Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy has announced the winners of the prestigious Blue Flag and Seaside Awards for 202, which are presented to clean and well-maintained beaches with high water quality.
Both Roker and Seaburn beaches feature on the list, having met what Sunderland City Council chiefs say are the high standards required.
They are among 77 beaches to win the prestigious Blue Flag Award, and this is the twelfth consecutive year that the beaches have also won a coveted Seaside Award.
John Price, cabinet member for ‘Vibrant City’, said: “I’m delighted to see our city’s beautiful beaches once again recognised with the prestigious Blue Flag and Seaside Awards. Flying these flags at Roker and Seaburn shows everyone who visits that our seafront is clean, safe and meets the high standards necessary to be awarded a blue flag.
“We’re lucky in Sunderland to have such fantastic beaches, but this national recognition is testament to the hard work of everyone who works to keep our beaches clean, tidy and well-maintained.”
Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive, Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “Visitors to a beach flying a Blue Flag or Seaside Award can be assured the beach will be clean, safe and meet the highest environmental standards, as well as international bathing water quality standards.
“The Blue Flag is the world’s most recognised award for beaches and marinas and, to qualify, each applicant must meet and maintain a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria.
“We’d therefore like to recognise and applaud all those who have worked so hard to protect and improve some of our best-loved and most popular beaches. The collective efforts of beach managers, volunteers, residents and businesses all contribute to the success of these sites in achieving the incredibly high standards demanded.”
The Blue Flag and Seaside Awards are aimed at improving the quality of England’s coastline and promoting the country’s best beaches.
Blue Flag is an international award managed by Keep Britain Tidy on behalf of the Foundation for Environmental Education. It is only presented to well-managed beaches with water quality defined as ‘excellent’ under the EU Bathing Water Directive and environmental education programmes, while Seaside Awards are presented to the best beaches in England and celebrate the quality and diversity of our coastline.
Among the criteria beaches are assessed against are:
- Safety and services, such as first aid, lifeguards where necessary
- Environmental information including displaying details about local eco systems
- Water quality – Blue Flag beaches must meet the ‘excellent’ water quality standard as set out in the EU bathing water directive and Seaside Award winners must meet the ‘sufficient’ standard.
- Environmental management, including litter and waste.
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