A PAEDOPHILE who adopted the name ‘Steven Gerrard’ to befriend football-loving boys has been jailed for 10 years after being caught grooming children online.
Steven Harrison, 44, claimed to have been a semi-professional footballer to impress the boys, as well as giving them Liverpool kits and taking them to Anfield.
Following his sentencing, police described him as ‘a very dangerous paedophile with a voracious sexual desire for young boys’.
Harrison, formerly of Westmorland Road in Wyken, Coventry, was being monitored by Sex Offender Managers at West Midlands Police following a 2012 conviction for sexually assaulting a schoolboy.
In October 2017 they uncovered social media posts suggesting he was attending a church in the city − a move bringing him into contact with children and breaching his Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).
Officers searched an address linked to him and recovered a hidden laptop, photographs of children and several junior size football kits.
Examination of the computer revealed Harrison was grooming single mums across Britain – many of whom he’d met on dating sites − in order to access their sons.
Web of lies
The investigation led detectives to a woman in Bedfordshire who’d been spun a web of lies by Harrison to hide his criminal past.
Luton Crown Court heard how he intimidated and threatened her 11-year-old son to stop him disclosing abuse and was planning to take him away on a trip before police arrested Harrison.
He was charged with 10 counts of breaching his SHPO and jailed for 32 months.
However, Offender Managers continued working with Bedfordshire Police who found Harrison had groomed many other boys, sexually assaulting at least one of them.
At Luton Crown Court on Friday, January 18, he was jailed for 10 years.
“Harrison created a story that he had been a semi-profession footballer and even changed his name to Steven Gerrard to assist with this façade,” said Coventry Police Sex Offender Manager, Sergeant Dan Woolley.
“He treated boys by giving them Liverpool football kits and taking them to Anfield.
“He embedded himself into several women’s lives, grooming them into thinking he was a kind, considerate ‘father figure’ for their sons.”
He added: “Harrison is a very dangerous paedophile with a voracious sexual desire for young boys.
“I’m pleased that our work has helped convict him and put him out of harm’s way for a very long time."