|Sex attacker jailed following Facebook post
GUILTY - Stacey Hughes
A sex attacker who was caught after the victim's family posted a Facebook warning to residents has today, 3 July 2013, been sentenced.
On 4 June 2013 Stacey Hughes, born 01/01/1977 of The Poplars, Church St, Golborne, pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to inciting a girl under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity.
He was today, 3 July 2013, sentenced to 18 months imprisonment He was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years and given a 10 years Sexual Prevention Order.
The incident happened at around 2.50pm on 2 August 2012, when the 11-year-old victim was out looking for her friend's lost cat.
She was walking along Bickershaw Lane, Bickershaw, Wigan, towards Wigan Road when she crossed an old railway line. She noticed a silver Land Rover-type vehicle mount the kerb nearby and stop close to her.
A man, now known to be Hughes, asked her the way to Golborne. She told him there were some shops nearby where he could get better directions. She then noticed that Hughes had exposed his penis whilst he was sitting in the drivers seat.
Hughes then proceeded to ask the victim inappropriate and suggestive questions before asking her to get into his car. Fearing Hughes was going to open the door and grab her, the victim briskly walked off, terrified.
Hughes then drove off towards Platt Bridge, and the victim raised the alarm.
Her family then posted a message on Facebook warning other residents in the area to be on the look-out for this man.
A local bus driver had earlier seen the victim talking to the driver of a Nissan Navara and, believing it to be suspicious, wrote down the number plate. He later saw the Facebook post and immediately called the police.
Hughes was arrested later that evening.
Detective Constable Sheena Maerevoet, of INPT West, Wigan, said: "This is a fine example of the community working together to help us take a sex offender off the streets.
''While we always encourage victims and their families to call the police in the first instance, it is heartening to see the family taking a proactive step to warn others.
"The Facebook post, combined with the quick thinking of the bus driver, helped us catch Hughes before he could approach any other children.
"I also want to applaud the victim and her family for their bravery throughout this investigation."