A man from London has been jailed for grooming a Runcorn girl online.
Barry Boschen, 44, from Benhill Avenue in Sutton, London, was sentenced to 12 months in prison at Chester Crown Court on 28 March 2018. He was also given a 10 year Sexual Harm Prevention Order. Boschen had pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual communication with a child at an earlier hearing.
Boschen posed as a 21-year-old from London on Snapchat and befriended his 12-year-old victim after she accepted a friend request. However, when her mother was checking her social media accounts she came across Boschen’s account. Something seemed out of place so she went on to read the messages and discovered sexually explicit messages over a period of a month, and requests to meet up, despite the victim telling him she was 15.
After speaking with her daughter she contacted the police and officers launched an investigation. However, the following day she noticed that he had uploaded a comment asking if anyone was in Chester or Runcorn and wanted to meet up.
The victim’s mother seized the opportunity and, using the location given by the application, she and a relative attended a fast food restaurant in Runcorn. The pair identified Boschen, who was sitting in a van and she used her car to block him into his parking space. Police attended and he was subsequently arrested, and later charged.
DC Joanna Barclay said: “The mother’s actions have highlighted the importance of being social media savvy as a parent. She did the right thing and called us the previous day to report her concerns. She was incredibly quick witted and brave in what she did but we would always urge people to call us straight away if they have any further information or suddenly discover where the suspect is, and let us deal with it to avoid getting into a potentially dangerous situation.
“While social media has its benefits, it can also be a minefield for parents and children alike. If you’re not clued up on social media then we advise you to have a look at some useful websites which will help you to navigate the social media world and how to work with your children to make it safe and enjoyable.”