October 2022

Scarborough man, 53, made plans to meet teen girl after sex talk – but was snared by cops

A Scarborough man who sent ‘sexual’ images to who he believed to be a 13-year-old girl has been handed a suspended sentence after being snared by police.

John Gilbert, 53, was involved in online chats with a teenager he believed to be 13-years-old between September 2 and September 14.

But he was actually communicating with a fake account that had been set up by police officers from North Yorkshire Police.

York Magistrates’ Court heard Gilbert sent sexual images to the account, engaged in “sexualised chat” and made arrangements to meet the girl.

He was arrested on September 16 and a search warrant was executed at his home

Key evidence proving Gilbert had been involved in the online child sexual abuse activity through various dating and messaging applications was obtained from his smart phone by the Digital Forensic Unit.

He appeared at York Magistrates’ Court on Friday (October 15) for sentencing after pleading guilty to three offences of being an adult attempting to meet a girl under 16 years of age following grooming; attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and attempting to cause a child aged 13 to 15 to watch/look at an image of sexual activity on September 17.

Gilbert was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.