Man jailed for web grooming

David Johnson

David Johnson

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A PERVERT who tried to meet an 11-year-old girl after grooming her over the Internet was shocked to discover he had actually been liaising with an undercover police officer.

David Johnson thought he was in contact with a child from Kirkham and arranged to meet before driving to McDonald’s at Freeport Fleetwood where police arrested him.

The 33-year-old, from Little Moss Lane, Pendlebury, Manchester, was jailed for eight months by a judge at Preston Crown Court.

He had pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming, attempting to cause a child to engage in sexual activity, plus two charges of attempting to engage in sexual activity in the presence of a child.

He had also admitted bail offences, plus one of failing to notify police of a change of address.

The court heard how the officer went online last November and went to a chat room where he came across the defendant.

Johnson used his correct name, said he was a 22-year-old photographer and had spina bifida.

Kirsten McAteer, prosecuting, said Johnson asked if the girl would be prepared to meet up in Fleetwood to model shoes.

In a private message which followed he said he was from Manchester and was 24.

Johnson asked her sexual questions and twice exposed himself. He went on to try and get the girl to touch herself sexually.

He then asked to meet in person saying he would pay £20 for a kiss and sexual activity and £50 for full sex. Again, he exposed himself.

The defendant went on to request a meeting and an arrangement was made to meet up in the car park at McDonald’s at Freeport.

He had told her he would be in a Ford Fiesta car.

Officers from the Force Intelligence Unit went to the car park on November 30 and arrested him when he arrived in his car.

Johnson was a man of previous good character, the court was told.

Christopher Evans, defending, said Johnson had been very candid when interviewed by police.

Mr Evans said: “He isn’t seeking to minimise the court’s obvious concerns as to why these offences were committed.

“He knows there is a deep-seated problem.

“He is willing to undertake programme offending work and other courses which have been suggested.

“It is accepted a custodial sentence is inevitable. He is remorseful.”

Judge Anthony Russell told Johnson in passing sentence: “This was pretty disgusting behaviour, as I’m sure you recognise, particularly thinking you were meeting an 11-year-old child.

“I’ve no doubt you are thoroughly ashamed.”

The defendant was told he will be on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.

For a five year period he will be subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

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