May 2023

Stockton Heath musician caught grooming children on internet

A ‘well respected’ musician who lived a ‘double life’ was caught grooming young girls over the internet by a group of paedophile hunters.

Jason Lowe, 35, sent a string of perverted messages using multiple accounts online, confessing he fancied teenage girls and asking minors for sexual images before telling them what he would like to do to them.

Lowe, of Landseer Avenue, Stockton Heath, pleaded guilty at Chester Crown Court on Thursday, April 27, to two counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

Prosecuting, Christopher Hopkins said the sequence of events began on December 14, 2019.

He said Lowe formerly worked as a professional organist for cathedrals across the north west and was held in ‘high regard’ in his profession but that behind the scenes he led an ‘isolated life’.

At the time of the incidents, he opened a total of five separate social media accounts which he would use to communicate with children.

Conversations referred to him using lewd sexual language.

He persistently asked for sexual images from a minor and in one conversation he told the child he was 33 to which they responded, ‘that is not that old’ and he replied back ‘yes but it is old when you fancy teenage girls’.

The court heard how he confessed in one conversation to a minor that ‘he really had a thing for young pretty girls’.

In January and February, 2020, Lowe engaged in further sexual and explicit communications with a minor.

Mr Hopkins addressed count two of the charges as being when Lowe fell into a trap of conversations with a group of paedophile hunters under the profile name ‘affray 07’ where the defendant attempted contact with the profile first.

Mr Hopkins added: “The conversation was over one day and suggested she was pretty and beautiful and referred to sexual touching.

“The defendant was traced by two groups and was confronted at his home address.”

The groups, who devote their time to catching out paedophiles by using fake profiles to lure in offenders, provided Cheshire Police with the material evidence.

Lowe was arrested shortly after and had his devices confiscated which Police found to have fragments of the conversations sent to the fake profile.

There were also pictures of young girls found on the devices too.

Defending, Carmel Wilde said: “He is a very well-educated man and is extremely talented in the music industry. Coming from a position of such esteem to now wondering which door he will exit from today.”

Concluding, Judge Everett said: “You are a man of good character with a good position within society. Leading something of a double life.

“Living a lonely and isolated existence. Acting out bizarre and disgusting fantasies.”

Referring to his communication with minors, Judge Everett added: “You told each of them what you wanted to do.

“Unlike some you do admit the disgusting nature of your offending and accept that you need some help.

“You were soliciting images that were never sent. This was a fairly determined effort over a substantial period of time.”

Lowe walked free from court with a 9-month suspended sentence and 35 days of rehabilitation required.

A sexual harm prevention order will be put in place and Lowe is required to be re-assigned to the sexual offences register for ten years from the date of sentencing.