Teacher who tried to have sex with boy, 14, spared jail
A trainee teacher who tried to have sex with a 14-year-old he met on Grindr was spared jail after a judge said he sympathised with him because he had “succumbed to temptation”.
Judge Nicholas Cooke, QC, wanted to give Daniel Dulake, 23, a chance to “salvage things from the wreckage” after he had tried to coax the youngster into having sex with him during a conversation on the dating app last year.
Police arrested Dulake, of London Road, Epsom, Surrey, and seized his phone in February after a fellow Grindr user showed him “vile” child abuse images online. Dulake served as a prosecution witness against the other man but was later charged with attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity after officers examined his smartphone.
The St Mary’s University graduate denied the charge, claiming he was collecting material about sexual predators for the police. Dulake was convicted last month after an Old Bailey jury rejected his “unconvincing” defence.
Yesterday Judge Cooke said he was giving Dulake “a chance to salvage things from the wreckage” as he gave him an eight-month sentence suspended for two years. The judge said he was aware of “the problems of people’s sexuality” and “the problems with the internet”. He went on to say that “the morals of websites like Grindr are nothing to do with me and I don’t sentence you for anything to do with that. The use of such sites does carry risk because you don’t know who is at the other end of the conversation.”
The judge bemoaned the “horrible, horrible world” of the internet and said Dulake’s offence “has smashed his life up and hurt his parents to a very great degree”. “He’s lucky he isn’t going straight to prison,” he said.