Scarborough man jailed for online child abuse offenses

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MAN has been jailed for online child abuse offenses.

John Gilbert, 53, was sentenced to six months ‘imprisonment – suspended for two years – by York Magistrates’ Court on Friday October 15 after pleading guilty on September 17.

All three offenses included being an adult attempting to meet a girl under the age of 16 after being groomed; attempting to have sexual communication with a child; and attempt to get a 13 to 15 year old child to view and view a picture of sexual activity.

They were committed between September 2 and September 14 when Gilbert was engaged in online chats with someone he believed to be a 13-year-old girl.

North Yorkshire Police said during these conversations Gilbert, from Scarborough, sent sexual images, engaged in a sexualized conversation and made arrangements to meet the girl.

What Gilbert didn’t realize was that he was communicating with the police all this time.

An operation was carried out on September 16 to arrest him and a search warrant was executed at his home.

Gilbert’s smartphone has been reviewed by the Digital Forensic Unit. They were able to retrieve key evidence proving that he had been involved in child sexual abuse activity online using various dating and messaging apps.

Police Constable Francesca Diffey, of the Scarborough-based Online Abuse and Exploitation Team, led the investigation leading to the conviction.

PC Diffey said: “It is clear from the investigation that Gilbert has an active sexual interest in children and that he poses a very real danger to society.

“Thanks to the work of the police, we were able to intervene before he attacked the young victims.

“We have also made sure that Gilbert has been subject to a Sexual Injury Prevention Order and is on the sex offender registry.

“This means it will be tightly managed by strict measures to protect the public.”


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