‘Shameful’ - Man, 74, groomed teen for sexual activity in Essex park

Hutchings offered to meet the boy for sexual activity at Promenade Park in Maldon Picture: GOOGLE

Hutchings offered to meet the boy for sexual activity at Promenade Park in Maldon Picture: GOOGLE - Credit: Google

A 74-year-old Essex man who groomed a teenage boy on a mobile networking app before offering to meet him for sexual activity at a popular park has been given a suspended sentence.

Douglas Hutchings of High Street, Maldon, made arrangements to meet the boy, thought to be aged 15, following online conversations in June last year.

He set up a profile, posing as a 52-year-old man and began sending messages to the boy in the early hours of June 20, 2017.

When Hutchings offered to meet the boy for sexual activity at Promenade Park, Maldon, later that day, Essex Police was made aware and officers arrested him there at 1pm.

He was later charged with sexual grooming – arranging to meet a child under the age of 16.


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Hutchings was found guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday, June 28, 2018, following a one week trial. He was sentenced to a 12 month suspended sentence at the same court on Monday..

Pc Matt Watson from Chelmsford CID said: “Hutchings denied grooming and claimed he arranged to meet the boy to warn him about the dangers of talking to strangers online.

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“He set up a false profile posing as a man 22 years his junior and sent messages of a sexual nature.

“Hutchings has now been found guilty in court and his shameful behaviour has been revealed.”

Hutchings has been made the subject of ten-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and been placed on the sex offenders’ register for the same period.

He will also have to complete 40 hours under a rehabilitation activity requirement, 120 hours of unpaid work and pay a victim surcharge of £140.

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