A COVENTRY man turned up at the city’s railway station expecting to meet the father of two young girls he was planning to sexually abuse.
But the ‘father’ Danny Gregory had been in contact with via an online chat room was in fact an undercover police officer – and he was arrested, Warwick Crown Court has heard.
Gregory (29) of Lion Fields Avenue, Allesley Village, Coventry, has avoided jail – but was given a three-year community order with a condition of taking part in a sex offender programme.
He was also ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work and to register as a sex offender for five years after he had admitted attempting to meet a child for sexual activity.
Prosecutor Alex Warren said that Gregory was caught as a result of a police operation this year targeting the online sexual exploitation of children.
Through a porn website, an undercover officer entered a chat room devoted to the topic of incest.
Gregory entered the chat room on May 29 and initiated contact with the officer, asking him about the ‘likes’ he had entered into his profile.
The officer said he was ‘into young children,’ to which Gregory replied that his own interests included incest and ‘schoolies.’
The officer then indicated he had two daughters aged eight and 11, and that he liked to ‘play with them’ and watch them being played with.
There was discussion between them about whether Gregory would like to sexually abuse the children in front of their father – and he said he would like to lick their feet while they French kissed each-other, and to have intercourse with the 11-year-old.
Further discussions followed on later dates, and plans were made for a meeting to take place so the activities discussed could take place.
On July 4 Gregory spoke on the phone to someone he was informed was the 11-year-old, in which he talked of having intercourse with her.
An arrangement was made with her ‘father’ that they would meet the following day at the station.
Mr Warren added that Gregory had entered his plea on the basis that it had started out as fantasy, but had then developed over the course of time to an intention to act out that fantasy.
Simon Hunka, defending, pointed out that on a number of occasions Gregory had stopped communicating, and it was the officer who had re-initiated contact.
When they were due to arrange a meeting, it was the officer who got in touch with Gregory, who at first did not answer his phone to the calls, said Mr Hunka.
And he observed: “When it really comes to it, it’s the defendant who pulls back from meeting up, at least until the very end.”
Sentencing Gregory, Judge Peter Cooke told him: “You were arrested at Coventry railway station where you had attended in the hope of meeting a father and his 11- and eight-year-old daughters so that, as arranged, you could engage in sexual abuse of them.
“In fact you’d been caught in a police sting operation.”
The judge pointed out that sentencing guidelines indicate that where the charge is one of attempt, particularly where there was no real child, the offence was in the least serious category.
“That must guide me, rather than the revulsion at what you were planning to do,
“I have concluded you would be a proper candidate for a suspended sentence. That is the measure that’s most likely to address your offending and best protect the public.”