Christopher Carey was sentenced to four years for a string of sexual offences, including inciting a 13-year-old girl to engage in a sexual act, following an investigation by Northumbria Police supported by the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (NWROCU).
Newcastle Crown Court heard how the 43-year-old used various social media apps and platforms to befriend three girls he believed were aged between 12 and 13 between January 1 and May 28 this year.
Carey began his campaign of abuse by first sharing non-explicit selfies and messages before gradually changing the tone of the conversation – detailed how he wanted to ‘kiss and cuddle’ his victims and disclosing details of the sexual acts he wanted to perform.
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However, until he was arrested on May 28, the predator had been unaware the girls he had been engaging with during the previous months were in fact law enforcement, monitoring him as part of an ongoing policing operation.
Detectives from Northumbria Police Online Investigation Team (POLIT) swiftly took him into custody, seizing his devices, and he was soon charged.
Carey, of Elmfield Court, Bedlington, appeared at court on Monday where he was jailed for four years.
He had previously pleaded guilty at the same court to inciting a 13-year-old girl to engage in a sexual act, four counts of engaging in sexual communication with a child and two counts of breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which had previously been issued in July 2017 at Norwich Crown Court.
Detective Inspector Rachel Lewis from POLIT said: “We will continue to protect children and young people from harm in any way we can.
“Carey was already the subject of a 10-year court order preventing him from engaging with young people in this way, yet he was completely undeterred by this and continued to offend.
“It is only right he goes to prison so he can no longer pose a threat to children. I hope he spends the remainder of his sentence contemplating his actions, and the serious harm his behaviour causes vulnerable victims.”
Detective Inspector Andy Buckthorpe from the NWROCU added: “We welcome the sentencing of Carey this week and hope people feel safer in the knowledge that this sexual predator is now behind bars.”