January 12, 2023 12.26 pm This story is over 10 months old

Phone allegedly used by accused Grantham sex attacker contacted undercover officer

He is accused of a string of sexual offences

A phone allegedly used by a Grantham man accused of a string of sexual offences was in contact with an undercover officer from the National Crime Agency, a jury heard today. (Thursday).

Christopher Manning, 38, of Dalton Close, Grantham, is on trial at Lincoln Crown Court and denies 19 charges including indecent assault, sexual assault and possessing indecent photographs of children.

The jury heard Manning was arrested on February 25 last year and in August made a defence case statement in which he gave the name of a child who could have been using his phone.

An intelligence officer from the National Crime Agency was asked to draw up a timeline of activity by comparing the use of phones belonging to Manning and the child, local mobile phone cell site masts and the child’s school attendance record.

Giving evidence, Sarah Wilkinson, from the National Crime Agency, presented a sequence of events chart to the jury.

It showed that at 8.53am on January 26 Mr Manning’s phone was in contact with the undercover officer at a time when attendance records marked the child present at school.

On that day there was further use of Mr Manning’s phone including photos of a kingfisher and pond, and making searches relating to Motability, before Mr Manning’s phone was again in contact with the undercover officer at 1.23pm on January 26.

At that time the child was still marked present at school, the jury was told.

The jury heard Manning voluntarily provided police with the PIN number for his mobile phone when he was arrested.

He denies all 19 charges and the trial continues.

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