Sex offenders are facing more than 26 years behind bars following a major police investigation into a child sex and indecent images ring in West Yorkshire.
Andrew Charles Lynes (51) of Deighton Road, Huddersfield and James Bould (35) formerly of Dewsbury, were sentenced to 12 and a 1/2 years and 14 years respectively at Leeds Crown Court today for a number of sexual offences.
Bould was sentenced after pleading guilty to eight offences including sexual activity with a child, causing a child to engage in sexual activity, distributing indecent photographs of a child and making indecent photographs of a child,
Lynes pleaded guilty to 11 offences including sexual activity with a child, paying for the sexual services of a child and taking indecent pictures of children.
The men were arrested and prosecuted following separate and then joint investigations by Kirklees and Wakefield safeguarding detectives and investigators.
Kirklees Police investigations began against Lynes in July 2014 as a result of intelligence passed to officers from another police force.
This resulted in Lynes being arrested and a quantity of indecent images being found on computers and equipment seized from his home.
From investigating his social media accounts officers were able to identify other offenders he had been in touch with, including Bould, and build a case against them.
Meanwhile, officers from Wakefield Safeguarding were conducting a parallel enquiry after being approached by a then 15-year-old victim in late November 2014.
The 15-year-old had disclosed to them he and another teenage boy then aged 16, had been engaged in sexual activity with two men, one of whom later proved to be Lynes in Wakefield’s Thornes Park and in hotels in the city over May and June 2014.
The two investigations became formally joined together after analysts at the West Yorkshire Police High Tech Crime Unit recognised footage of the same male victim on media seized from both men.
Lynes and Bould were also charged in early 2015 and pleaded guilty while going through the court process.
Detective Inspector Lis Walker of the Wakefield District Child Sexual Exploitation Team, said: “The strong sentences given to these men are a clear indication of the danger they posed and we hope their victims feel reassured that their abusers will be spending such a long time behind bars.
“These men dealt and traded in abusive images including many of the worst possible category. Bould and Lynes abused teenage boys for their own sexual gratification, knowing full well they were under age.
“The public needs to understand that for someone to make an indecent image of a child, they have to subject that child to abuse. At the heart of every indecent image, there is a child that has been abused.”
Detective Constable Adrian Cowan, who led the Wakefield side of the investigation, said: “The victim in this case showed great courage in coming forward and I hope these convictions reinforce to victims that they should feel confident in contacting us. Tackling child sexual abuse is West Yorkshire Police’s top priority and all reports are handled sensitively and thoroughly investigated.
“Significant work has also been ongoing with partners to encourage victims to come forward and report. This has included work in schools and communities. The Force will continue these methods to give confidence to victims and adults to come forward to report abuse.”
West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, praised the determination of the investigation teams in bringing the perpetrators to justice.
He added: “This case highlights the complexity of the networks behind these types of serious sexual abuse cases and the need to ensure the right skills and resources are made available for West Yorkshire Police to tackle offenders who are involved in such crimes.”