Paedophile caught after undercover police operation

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An undercover police officer posing as a 13-year-old brought to justice a Holbeach paedophile looking for sex with young girls, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

David Hall (60) believed he was chatting on line with a young girl called Lucy but was in fact communicating with a Metropolitan Police officer.

Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said that Hall, who had been released from prison just six months earlier with an order banning him from any contact with children under 16, became increasingly sexually explicit in his conversations with “Lucy”.

“He was asking her about her underwear and asked about her bra size.

“He was asking her to send indecent photographs of herself. He offered to buy her a camera to do this.

“He talked of the two of them meeting up in London and he told her what he wanted to do to her if they met.”

Hall gave her his mobile number but then suddenly ended his contact with “Lucy”. Police traced him to his then address in Hallgate, Holbeach, where he was arrested.

Officers searched his home and removed computer equipment which was later examined and found to contain indecent images of children.

The court was told that Hall had previously been jailed for 32 months at Northampton Crown Court in 2010 for an offence of meeting a young girl after grooming her and the latest charges arose out of incidents just six months after his release from jail.

Hall, now living in Caesar Road, North Hykeham, admitted charges of attempting to incite child pornography and attempting to breach a sexual offences prevention order as a result of the incidents in May 2012.

He also admitted four charges of making an indecent image of a child and possession of 390 indecent images of children.

He was jailed for three years and ordered to remain on licence at risk of return to jail until August 2020.

Judge John Pini QC told him: “The contact with Lucy was targeted and it was persistent. It is clear that the sexual gratification you were getting from this 13-year-old, as you believed her to be, was profound.”

In mitigation, John McNally said Hall was recalled to serve a further nine months of his original jail sentence following his arrest for the latest matters.

He said Hall had voluntarily ceased contact with “Lucy” and recognised he needed help.