Man spared jail after underage girl’s web of deceit

At-risk adult Sebastian Bickerton-King was deceived into a relationship with a girl who told him she was 16 when she was actually 15.
VULNERABLE: At-risk adult Sebastian Bickerton-King was deceived into a relationship with a girl who told him she was 16 when she was actually 15. Courtesy: Raymonds Press.

23-year-old Sebastian Bickerton-King has been spared jail, following an ordeal where he was lied to by his girlfriend that she was at the age of consent, when she was actually 15.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, lured Sebastian Bickerton-King into exchanging sexual images with her by convincing him she was at the age of consent. Bickerton-King has Asperger syndrome, leading to the relationship becoming obsessional in nature.

After Sebastian Bickerton-King disclosed the images to the girl’s family following her threatening to kill herself, he was charged with offences relating to child pornography and revenge porn.

In defence of Sebastian Bickerton-King, his Counsel Caroline Bradley said: “The defendant had engrossed himself in the internet environment. In his own mind he was in love with the girl and he thought she was in love with him. He felt hugely rejected when she ended their relationship. She was vulnerable and so was he.

Judge Jonathan Bennett sitting at Derby Crown Court accepted from Bickerton-King’s defence that the “victim was 15 but I accept you (he) believed she was 16.” Judge Jonathan Bennett awarded against Bickerton-King a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, ordered him to enrol in a three-year sex offenders’ treatment program and awarded a five-year sexual harm prevention order against him.

E-dating warning after suspected rape

Those looking for love online are today being warned by Humberside Police to take precautions after Hull man was arrested on suspicion of raping a woman he met via social media.

The 47-year-old was arrested in connection with the allegation on Tuesday, March 7. He has been released on police bail to a date in April, pending further enquiries.

Today officers from the force cyber crime unit are highlighting the case as part of an ongoing drive to highlight the potential dangers around online dating.

A recent report from the National Crime Agency’s Serious Crime Analysis Section (SCAS) identified a significant increase in the number of reports to UK police forces about serious sexual assaults carried out by offenders who have met their victims through online dating.

Most of these assaults take place the first time they meet face-to-face and it is feared that potential victims are being lured into letting their guard down – not thinking of those they meet as strangers.

Detective Inspector Rich Osgerby is from Humberside Police. “Online relationships tend to progress far more quickly that those offline, as people feel more able to be more open and emotionally honest,” he said. “The result of this is that individuals may then have a sense of being at more advanced stage in the relationship by the time they meet the person face-to-face and no longer regard them as a stranger, even though it is the first time they are meeting.
This can lead to individuals taking more risks than they otherwise would and putting themselves into more vulnerable situations.

Jonathan Bishop is an e-dating expert. “My research concurs with comments of Humberside Police that relationships can progress faster online and this is one of the causes of serious crime resulting from online dating,” he said. “My first romantic relationship started online, but today one has to be extra careful as the Internet is much more widely used.
Many years ago when I reported to the police people trying to extort money from me through online dating, it was simply recorded as an incident, so it is good that Humberside Police and the National Crime Agency are starting to take the issue more seriously.

eHarmony’s new site looks to match users with perfect career

Starting March 30, online dating site eHarmony hopes to do for careers what it has done for dating: help people make the perfect match.

CAREER MINDED: eHarmony hopes to do for careers what it has done for dating: - help people make the perfect match. Courtesy:
CAREER MINDED: eHarmony hopes to do for careers what it has done for dating: – help people make the perfect match. Courtesy:

eHarmony has been working on the career-matching site for more than two years now. Dr Neil Clark Warren is an eHarmony founder and CEO. “We want to bring companies candidates that have been fully vetted,” he said.

According to eHarmony’s website 438 people get married every day as a result of eHarmony’s compatibility matching.

Now eHarmony is turning its sights on matching people with jobs, and companies with applicants. Elevated Careers states it intends to use proven technology to bring employers the most compatible candidates, matched on skills, company culture and personality.

In 2014, Dan Erickson, director of special projects and general manager of Elevated Careers said that instead of sending companies thousands of resumes, they want to provide a daily list of candidates who match with a company. This includes not just with the jobs and skills area, but with company culture, work values and knowledge.

Elevated Careers will pair applicants and jobs based not just on skills and qualifications but also cultural fit and the personality traits of the applicants’ supervisor and potential closest co-workers.

Man who conned women he met on internet dating sites ordered to pay more than £179,000 under Proceeds of Crime Act

Matthew Bart Samuels, from Broadway Grove, Worcester, was ordered to pay a total of £105,040 to his victims within three months, when he appeared at Worcester Crown Court at a confiscation hearing.

Matthew Bart Samuels’s benefit from criminality was heard to be £179,152.23 and compensation from confiscation was sought for his victims. Samuels’ available amount was shown to be £105,040 and he was given three months to pay this figure.

If Matthew Bart Samuels fails to pay in time he will face a two year prison sentence. If at any point in the future Matthew Bart Samuels is deemed to have further assets, he will be taken back to court to recover further sums until the confiscation order, which totals £179,152.23, has been settled in full.

The 51 year-old was sentenced to eight years in prison in the same court in October 2015 after being found guilty of eight counts of fraud. He had taken advantage of women looking for love online, conning them, and in one case one of their relatives, out of a total of approximately £185,000.

Matthew Bart Samuels was also found not guilty of two counts of fraud last year. On one other count of fraud the jury was directed by the judge to find him not guilty.

Matthew Bart Samuels had previously pleaded guilty to impersonating a barrister on December 8th 2014.

In October 2015, Matthew Bart Samuels was sentenced to eight years in prison in total for the fraud offences and three months in prison for impersonating a barrister, to run concurrently. An indefinite restraining order was also put in place preventing Matthew Bart Samuels from contacting any of his victims.

The offences by Matthew Bart Samuels were carried out between January 2011 and March 2015 and the victims include four women who he met through internet dating websites. A further fraud offence related to the mother of a woman that Matthew Bart Samuels met online, who he defrauded by a total of £110,000 after advising her that he could invest her money for greater return. In fact he pocketed the money and spent it on himself.

Matthew Bart Samuels met women over the internet, through dating websites. He would use different methods, including driving expensive cars, wining and dining them and persuading them he was a millionaire. Then, once he had gained their trust, he would steal from them.

On some occasions Matthew Bart Samuels would persuade women to set up car companies as the legal head, whilst he ran them. He would also use finance deals and steal from his victims, eventually leaving when the debt ran too high. In some instances, he would persuade women to invest money with him or help him out of a fictional financial crisis, promising to pay them back, which he did not. Instead, he would spend their money on expensive cars for his own use.

Despite the lifestyle he portrayed, the reality was very different. Expensive cars were leased by Matthew Bart Samuels for the sole purpose of tricking women.

Matthew Bart Samuels managed simultaneous relationships, sometimes seeing three women in one day, and used his job as a car dealer to cover his absences from home from his then partner, who often worked away herself and did not know about his fraudulent activities.

Matthew Bart Samuels would sometimes use the names Matthew Copeland and David Copeland and has also falsely stated that he was a barrister, solicitor, financial advisor, a volunteer who assisted offenders and a medical surgeon specialising in knee surgery.

DI Mark Glazzard is from West Mercia Police. “The people who were heartlessly defrauded by Samuels showed great courage by speaking out about their experiences in order to bring him to justice,” he said. “The effect of his crimes was not just financial; there was also a significant emotional impact for his victims.
Samuels did not just take their money, he also callously abused the trust and confidence they had placed in him.
I hope that this week’s confiscation order provides some comfort for his victims and goes some way to compensating them for the financial and emotional hardship Samuels caused.
It should also send out a clear message to all criminals that crime does not pay.

Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police say they are committed to raising awareness of internet-related crime and giving people the knowledge they need to stay safe online.

E-Dating conviction part of ‘six-fold increase’

RAPIST: Jason Lawrance has been sentenced to life in prison for raping women he groomed via the e-dating website, Courtesy: Obtained from Sky News.
RAPIST: Jason Lawrance has been sentenced to life in prison for raping women he groomed via the e-dating website, Courtesy: Obtained from Sky News.

The conviction of Jason Lawrance for raping 5 women he met on the e-dating website is part of a six-fold increase, the National Crime Agency has said.

The NCA’s Serious Crime Analysis Section (SCAS), which supports police investigations into serious sexual assaults committed by strangers, identified an increase in the number of people that were raped during their first face-to-face meeting following initial contact through an online dating website or app.

Derby Crown Court convicted Jason Lawrance and sentenced him to life for his rape of the women. Alan Charles is Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner. “This is a truly shocking case in so many ways and the courage of the victims in helping to secure this conviction should be applauded,” he said. “It was a complex police investigation into a string of attacks against women and I’m pleased to see the person responsible has been brought to justice for his despicable crimes.

Sean Sutton is Head of the NCA’s Serious Crimes Analysis Section. “More than nine million Britons have logged on to online dating sites, and the majority have found that they are a convenient and safe environment to find a relationship,” he said. “This initial work clearly raises a lot of questions and we will be working with academia to build a more complete picture.
However this will take time and we wanted to release our headline findings at the earliest opportunity.
Our aim here is to make people aware of the potential danger, so they can be better prepared and make the choices that are right for them.
A rape victim is never at fault and we do not want the circumstances in which these assaults take place to cause any victim to doubt that.
Sexual assault is a crime, full stop, and we want victims to feel confident reporting it to the police.

Jonathan Bishop is an e-dating expert who co-founded Action on Digital Addiction and Cyberstalking. “The extent of sexual offences following contact on e-dating websites is more widespread than people realise,” he said. “My research into e-dating websites suggests that e-dating profiles need to be properly configured to make clear whether someone is looking for sexual encounters so that those who do not want them are protected from claims they consented to sex when they did not.