Judge orders parents are told about choir member's child sex conviction - Leeds Crown Court

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A judge has directed that parents of children in a choir be informed that one of their adult members has child sex convictions.

The order was made after Nicholas Whitaker was sentenced over an online paedophile hunter group sting.

The man messaged a '14-year-old' on Kik

The man messaged a '14-year-old' on Kik

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Whitaker believed he was sending sexual messages to a 14-year-old boy on social media and making arrangements to meet him.

Whitaker was given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to attempted sexual communication with a child and attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

Leeds Crown Court heard that during the exchanges with the "boy" Whitaker made references to being a member of a choir.

The court heard that Whitaker is currently suspended from the choir pending the outcome of the case.

Nicholas Whitaker

Nicholas Whitaker

Judge Christopher Batty ordered that parents of youngsters involved with the choir be informed of Whitaker's convictions if he is to remain a member.

The order, as part of a sexual harm prevention order, states that he is "not to be part of any musical choir or amateur dramatics society unless the parents of every child under 18 years within that group is aware that he is a member of the same group and has given consent to their child being a member."

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Imposing the order, the judge said: "Children in that environment need protecting."

The name of the choir was not stated in court.

Christine Edgerton, prosecuting, said Whitaker was contacted on Kik Messenger by two members of a vigilante group pretending to be a 14-year-old boy called Leo.

Contact was also made via Whatsapp and it was made clear to Whitaker that he was contacting a 14-year-old boy.

Whitaker continued to send sexually explicit instructions and asked for a "slightly naughty picture."

Whitaker was arrested after making arrangements to meet up with the boy.

Simon Alexander, mitigating, said Whitaker had been suspended from the choir. Whitaker has no previous convictions.

Whitaker was given a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to take part in a 90-day programme to address his offending.

Judge Batty told Whitaker: "If you had been communicating with a genuine child you would be going to custody today, there is no doubt about that, because that child would have been corrupted by that conversation and that would have been totally unacceptable."

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