Northumberland man jailed for child sex offences
A Northumberland man has been jailed for four-and-a-half years for child sex offences.
Luke Stoddart, 20, of Fern Avenue, in Cramlington, pleaded guilty to sexual assault by penetration at Newcastle Crown Court on November 4, 2015, and meeting a child following sexual grooming another girl when he appeared in court on July 26.
Stoddart sexually groomed a 15-year-old girl after befriending her on social media and also sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl after arranging to meet her via social media, with a further sexual offence on a girl under 16 to remain on file. Yesterday, he started his prison term.
Acting Detective Chief Inspector Sharon Chatterton said: "This sentencing at Newcastle Crown Court sends a clear message to criminals that these cases are taken very seriously. We are pleased that Stoddart must now face the consequences of his actions in a prison cell.
"We are continuing to investigate these types of crimes and would urge any victims to come forward and speak to officers and get the help they need. We know that it can be difficult for victims to take the first step and report offences and would urge anyone with information on crimes of this nature, on-line or otherwise, to contact police."