Man jailed for sex chats with boy
A 62-year-old man who tried to arrange sex hook-ups with young boys on a gay dating app has been jailed for over three years.
Glen Battensby, from Wetherby, started chatting to a ‘teenager’ he thought was a boy aged 12 or 13 on the dating platform Grindr, York Crown Court heard.
The ‘boy’ was an undercover police officer who used a fictional name to pose as a youngster on internet chatrooms.
Prosecutor Rebecca Young said it was Battersby who initiated contact with the ‘boy’ on Grindr and the KIK messenger app.
“The defendant was using a (profile) picture of himself and his own name, and didn’t mislead anybody as to his age,” said Ms Young.
The ‘boy’ received a private message from Battensby on February 28. The ‘boy’ told him he was too young to be on the site and asked Battensby “not to report him”.
The KIK messages continued into March when the conversation turned increasingly sordid. Battensby said he would like the ‘boy’ to perform sex acts on him and would like to see him taking a shower.
During a debauched chat on March 11, Battensby talked about picking the ‘boy’ up from his home and suggested certain sexual activities they could indulge in.
“He said he would like to watch pornography with (the ‘boy’),” added Ms Young.
Battensby then asked him to send a sexual photo of himself, which the ‘boy’ refused to do.
“The defendant then requested that (the ‘boy’) delete all the messages, saying he could go to prison for what he was doing,” said Ms Young.
“He told (the ‘boy’) that he loved him.”
Battensby arranged to meet the ‘boy’ at a supermarket in York, offering to buy him sweets and chocolates if he did so.
He told the ‘boy’ he was “excited (about) the sexual activity that he was anticipating would take place”, added Ms Young.
Battensby turned up to meet the ‘boy’ but was instead met by a police officer who arrested him and seized his mobile phone.
In custody, Battensby, of Parsons Green, refused to answer questions.
Forensic examination of his phone revealed there had been further chats with another boy who was never identified.
In these chats, the boy told Battensby he was 15 years’ old and was “(sexually) experimenting, and asked the defendant if he minded that, and (Battensby) replied that he didn’t”, said Ms Young.
“Battensby said he would like to meet and (the boy) said he would, but he was nervous.”
During the sordid chat, Battensby listed the types of sexual activity that he would like the boy to try with him.
“They arranged to meet in Harrogate the next day,” said Ms Young.
“Unfortunately, the police haven’t managed to identify (the boy). All they (know) is that the defendant appeared to believe he was talking sexually to a 15-year-old boy.
“The messages stopped…so there is no evidence as to whether or not they (actually met).”
Battensby admitted six charges including attempted sexual communication with a child, attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and attempting to meet a child following grooming with a view to committing a sexual offence.
He appeared for sentence last Thursday after admitting all the offences, between February 27 and March 13.
Defence barrister Susannah Proctor reminded the court that the ‘boy’ who had chatted with Battensby on Grindr was entirely fictional.
Judge Simon Hickey jailed Battensby for three-and-a-half years.
Battensby was also placed on the sex-offenders’ register for life.
The judge made a sexual-harm prevention order designed to curb Battensby’s internet use and contact with children. This order will also run indefinitely.
Detective Sergeant Steve Alderson, of North Yorkshire Police’s Online Abuse & Exploitation Team, said: “It is very pleasing that the investigation into his deplorable online activities has resulted in a significant custodial sentence.”
“He will also be subject to stringent controls for the rest of his life to ensure he does not reoffend in the future.”
*To report or seek help about online sexual abuse, contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 55511.
The Supporting Victims Unit can be contacted at www.supportingvictims.org or by calling 01609 643100.
Anyone concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC Helpline for advice on 0808 8005000.
Childline is also available for young people on 0800 1111 or at www.childline.org.uk.