Resort man jailed for grooming teen

A PAEDOPHILE groomed a Blackpool schoolboy before travelling to the resort to sexually assault him.

Simon Oliver, 50, claimed to be 18 when he met the 15-year-old boy in an internet chatroom and even posted fake pictures of a young man he claimed was him.

Preston Crown Court heard how his young victim was desperate for a friend, someone to care for him, and agreed to meet him at Layton Train Station.

Charlotte Atherton, prosecuting, said Oliver had groomed the vulnerable youngster online after he joined a website in August last year to make friends.

She added: "He showed pictures on the site of a person who looked 18, as himself.

"The boy named himself and said he was 15. They chatted for a couple of weeks."

Oliver named himself as Rob Charles Oliver and conversations began to have a sexual tone before they arranged to meet at the station.

When Oliver, of Galway Walk in Wythenshawe, Manchester, pulled up in his car, the boy did not recognise him as he was expecting a younger man.

Miss Atherton added: "He thought he was meeting an 18-year-old and went to leave.

"He then received a text message from the defendant who said he didn't think the young man would meet him if he knew who he really was."

More conversations took place online when the defendant admitted his real name but still claimed he was only 39.

They then met at the station and went out for a meal together before driving around Blackpool where sexual activity took place.

Further activity took place between the pair the third time they met at the station.

Oliver later gave the boy around 250 after he asked for cash.

He told his mother what was going on and police were called.

When arrested, Oliver admitted falsifying his age in order to meet younger men and that he knew the teenager was 15.

Ciaran Rankin added: "He doesn't pose a risk of serious harm to children. He's most concerned about what will confront him were he to be sent to prison."

Sentencing Judge Beverley Lunt told him: "You were taking advantage of this youth."

Oliver pleaded guilty to two offences of sexual activity with a child and one of grooming.

He was jailed for 20 months and put on the sex offenders register for 10 years, banned from working with children and banned from unsupervised contact with under 16s for 10 years.

Det Con Andy Rigby, who led the investigation for Blackpool Police, said: "We're pleased Oliver is now no longer a danger to young boys as, had he not been arrested, he would surely have continued to use the internet for his depraved purposes."