July 2020

Pervert posing as ‘sexyman’ snared by paedophile hunters after sending pictures of himself

A sex offender snared by paedophile hunters within weeks of being released from prison is behind bars again.

Nigel Lodge, 58, was caught grooming online again in May, just three months after he was released from a jail term of almost four years.

He received that sentence in 2018 for sexual chat with a real underage girl on the internet.

Using the profile “sexyman”, he persistently sent the scared girl rude pictures and messages, including images of his private parts, suggesting sex to her.

He was also caught by “New Justice”, an organisation targeting internet child groomers, in December 2017.

He made sexual conversation with one of their workers, posing as a 14-year-old girl, asking for pictures, encouraging and “instructing” her on sexual activity.

He got out of prison for those offences in February this year.

He came into contact with another group, the Child Online Safety Team (COST), which tracks down and reports online sex offenders, in May.

A female COST operative posing as a 13-year-old girl got sexual messages from Lodge, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Despite quickly stating her age, he incited the fictitious girl to send naked photos and take part in sexual activity.

He said “can I see you with nothing on?” and “show me your sexy body”, said prosecutor Harry Hadfield.

He asked he if she was by herself at home, told her not to let her mother see and said she could tell anyone she was talking to him because he could go to prison for it.

Lodge, 58, of Portrack Lane, Stockton, admitted attempting to incite child sexual exploitation, attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and attempting to breach a sexual harm prevention order.

He was on licence from the 46-month jail term passed in 2018 for obscene communication, attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming, causing a child to engage in sexual activity and watch a sexual act.

Anthony Pettengell, defending, said: “There was thankfully no real child in this case.

“Clearly there’s going to be a significant time in custody.”

He said it was short-lived, unsophisticated offending using Lodge’s own details.

He added Lodge pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, had spent time in isolation in custody, and was not given the chance to do a rehabilitation programme in his last sentence.

Judge Paul Watson QC told the defendant: “These offences in May 2020 were committed within weeks or perhaps just a few short months of your release.

“The messages quickly descended into messages of a sexual nature.

“The fact that the fictional character here didn’t exist is not relevant at all to the question of your culpability and what you were trying to achieve.”

He considered whether Lodge was a dangerous offender who should receive an extended sentence for public protection.

He said: “I have no doubt that there is in your case a significant risk of serious harm.

“I am beyond doubt… this court has power to make you subject to an extended sentence.”

He drew back from such a sentence given the points of mitigation, and jailed Lodge for three years.

Lodge will be on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

June 2020

Pervert child groomer, formerly of Darlington, back behind bars

A serial child sex offender could be facing an indeterminate spell behind bars after his latest offences brought him back before a judge.

Nigel Lodge was caught inciting a young teenager to engage in sexual activity, attempting to incite a teenager to engage in sexual activity as well as breaching the terms of his sexual harm prevention order (SHPO).

The 58-year-old was jailed in 2018 after sending indecent messages and videos to a 13-year-old schoolgirl before communicating with what he believed was another young girl while he was on police bail.

Lodge, who was living in Station Road, Darlington, at the time, was jailed for three years, ten months at Teesside Crown Court after he admitted charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, causing a child to watch a sexual act, attempted grooming and incitement and sending a malicious communication.

Lodge, of Portrack Lane, Stockton, pleaded guilty to the three offences from last month at an earlier hearing.

When he appeared at the same court on Friday, Lodge was expecting to be sentenced for his latest offences but Judge Howard Crowson wanted further information about his previous convictions and his future risk before passing judgement.

Judge Crowson said: “He will get a prison sentence but it’s how the prison sentence will be passed, whether it will be determinate or something else.

“I will adjourn this case to find out about the previous offences, knowing more about those offences and knowing more about what the probation service thinks will make a difference.”

Anthony Pettengell, representing Lodge, agreed his client would benefit from the case being adjourned so the relevant questions can be asked before sentence.

The case was adjourned until July 20

In 2018, prosecutor Harry Hadfield said the 55-year-old began texting a 13-year-old girl at the beginning of 201 using a social media app.

Under the tag name ‘Sexy Man’, Lodge sent images of his private parts to the victim as well as a video showing him touching himself.

He called the teenager cute and sexy and suggested they meet up for sex. Lodge moved onto making voice calls via WhatsApp, telling the young girl he loved her.

Five days after he had appeared at crown court and pleaded guilty to the first set of offences he was in contact with the decoy, offering to teach her about sex.

February 2018

Judge says all options open on Darlington sex offender as he awaits sentence

A newley convicted sex offender has been warned by a judge that he could face jail.

Nigel Lodge was told by Judge Tony Briggs that all sentencing options were open after he admitted charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and causing a child to watch a sexual act.

The offences he pleaded guilty to occurred in 2016.

A report on Lodge was requested and his case adjourned for sentence at Teesside Crown Court to return on March 9.

Lodge, 55, of Station Road, Darlington, had been of previous good character, the court heard.

He will now be required to alert police to his whereabouts as a registered sex offender.

Judge Briggs bailed Lodge ahead of his sentence, but said he should not read anything into that as all sentencing options were open to him.