October 2011

Football chiefs snared internet sex predator

A TIP-off from football chiefs caught out a teen chat-room prowler claiming links to an all girl soccer side.

Mature student Mark Boyd made explicit sex requests of youngsters he met on the websites.

He knew his schoolgirl victims were as young as 12 but still asked them to send revealing pictures, or even strip for him on a webcam.

None of them played along with his “fantasies” Newcastle Crown Court heard.

And Boyd, 32, of South Street, Shiremoor, was arrested when one of his targets sent a transcript of his x-rated conversation to the Northumberland Football Association.

Michael Graham, prosecuting, said: “She told them of her concerns because she believed he was involved in coaching a young girls football team. The Northumberland FA contacted police, the defendant was arrested at his home, and examination of his laptop revealed other conversations of a similar nature.”

Boyd admitted inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and three more of attempted incitement over a nine-day period last September

Mr Graham said: “When he was interviewed by police, the defendant said he was now only involved in the development of a girls team.

“He said he had taken a step back from running the team because they now had a female coach.”

Boyd, who has no previous convictions, was given a three-year community order with supervision and must take part in a probation run treatment programme for sex offenders.

He was also disqualified from working with children, told to register as a sex offender with police for the next five years and given an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order to keep him from contacting children.

Judge Paul Sloan told him: “I believe the community would be better served and protected if you were to participate in the programme.”

Boyd, also ordered to pay £1,496 costs, was described as “socially isolated” in a presentence report.

Paul Cross, defending, said: “He is a man who is having some difficulty in coming to terms with feelings, about which he now plainly feels deeply ashamed.”