A man from the West Midlands, who travelled nearly 90 miles with the intention of sexually abusing an 11-year-old in Bedford, faces five years in prison after admitting to a number of child sex offences.
Jamie Macpherson, 46, of Walsall, was sentenced last Thursday (21 January) at Luton Crown Court.
In June 2020, Macpherson was arrested after travelling to Bedford with the intention of sexually abusing the child.
He was arrested by police soon after he arrived in Bedford and found in possession of two hard drives containing large amounts of indecent images of children, including the most severe category A.
Macpherson’s plans to travel to Bedford were uncovered as a result of a proactive operation by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit.
The investigation team worked closely with digital media investigators, who were instrumental in securing the evidence from the hard drives in his possession.
Following his arrest, Macpherson pleaded guilty to facilitating and arranging the commission of a child sexual offence, possession to show or distribute indecent images of children, and possession of indecent images of children.
Additionally, he also pleaded guilty to distributing indecent images of children, in relation to offences committed in the West Midlands.
He was sentenced to total of five years: three years for the Bedfordshire offences and a further two years, to run consecutively, for the West Midlands offences.
He was also served with an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
Investigation Officer Paul Baddeley, from Bedfordshire Police’s Cyber Hub, said: “Macpherson is an extremely dangerous offender who has travelled a long way from his home with a clear intent to sexually abuse a child.
“Following his arrest, he was found in possession of huge amounts of indecent images of children.
“Some of these have been described as some of the worst and most abhorrent child sexual abuse material the investigation team have ever seen.
“Thanks to close collaboration with our colleagues at West Midlands Police and the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit, this horrific offender will be locked up away from our communities and children he could pose a risk to.
“We are seeing an ever increasing amount of referrals of this nature, we would like to take this opportunity to remind parents and guardians of how important it is to ensure their children know how to keep themselves safe online.
“Any child can become the victim of grooming, no matter what their gender, ethnicity or background.
“If you think that this might be happening to you or someone you know then it’s important you speak out and tell someone you trust.”
Parents can visit the Parents Protect website, which is run by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, for lots of useful resources to help prevent online child sexual abuse. It also contains a list of organisations and resources focusing on keeping children safe in the digital world.
The NSPCC Share Aware website also contains advice and tips about how children can keep themselves safe online.
If you’ve been affected by crime you can also contact Signpost for free and confidential support, whether the crime has been reported to police or not.
For further information or to get in contact, visit signpostforbedfordshire.com