1. ITV Report

Knottingley man jailed for child sex offences

A Knottingley man has been jailed after being convicted for trying to arrange to sexually abuse a child.

Steven Byrne was sentenced to four years in prison today with four years extended licence Credit: West Yorkshire Police

Steven Byrne, 32, from Elm Place, Knottingley was sentenced to four years in prison with four years extended licence at Leeds Crown Court today after pleading guilty to trying to facilitate a child sex offence and indecent imagery offences.

Byrne was arrested in June after officers became aware of his use of a social media application to speak with another adult about sexually abusing a young child.

After reviewing the conversations in which he attempted to arrange a rendezvous regarding the discussions, officers took the decision to arrest him at the earliest opportunity.

Subsequent searches of computer equipment and storage media he had access to revealed a number of Class A, B and C indecent images.

Following investigation he was charged and pleaded guilty to assisting and or facilitating the commission of a child sexual offence and distributing indecent images of children.

Specialist child protection officers who investigated the case were awarded Judges Commendations for their work.

We welcome the sentencing of Stephen Byrne today for very serious offending.

Byrne came to police attention through social media and had conversations in which he actively discussed abusing a child and as a result, we took the decision to make an early arrest and conduct wider investigations.

Some very disturbing imagery was found on computer storage recovered from his property and when presented with the evidence collected against him, he entered a guilty plea.

The length of his sentence makes clear how seriously authorities take sexual offences involving the youngest and most vulnerable in society.

– Detective Inspector Steve Greenbank of Wakefield District Police

Protecting young children from harm has been our key priority in Wakefield District and we have invested heavily, as has the rest of the force, in our specialist child protection teams.

Byrne has been convicted following a thorough and detailed investigation by my officers who took the decision to arrest him at the earliest opportunity to prevent him having the opportunity to carry out his horrible and wicked intentions.

We continue to encourage anyone who has information about sexual offending against children or anyone in Wakefield to contact us at Wakefield District Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

We treat all victims with the utmost sympathy and are determined to get those who pose a risk to children off our streets.

– Chief Superintendent Mabs Hussain, District Commander of Wakefield Police