An undercover police officer posed on line as a 14-year-old boy from Bedford to catch a paedophile.
Colin Dean, aged 51, from Meldreth, near Royston came into contact with the ‘boy’ over the gay dating site Grindr.
On 14 February this year, the police officer created a fake identity using the name Mark_14 , Luton Crown Court heard today, Friday, 17 March 2017.
Michael Speak, prosecuting for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Dean became involved in explicit conversation with Mark_14 that day and sent him four indecent photographs. Dean then asked ‘Mark’ his age and ‘Mark’ told him he was 14 and they arranged to meet the next day. When he arrived in Bedford, the police arrested Dean in his car. He told them he was in the town to meet someone and was “very nervous and red-faced,” said Mr Speak.
Dean of Bell Close appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a boy under 16 following grooming. He had a previous conviction from Cambridge Magistrates’ Court in 1991 for gross indecency.
Defending, Richard Padley said it was a relatively low level type of offence for this type. He said: “He pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity. Thankfully no young boy received these messages.”
Jailing him for 18 months, Judge Barbara Mensah said: “If you had met a real Mark you would have engaged in sexual activity with him.”
In addition to the custodial sentence, the Judge made a sexual harm prevention order with a condition that Dean does not have contact with anyone aged under 16.