A 52-year-old man from Helsby who attempted to meet young girls for sex has been jailed.
Adrian McBriar, of Britannia Road, was sentenced to 18 months in prison at Chester Crown Court on Friday 16 November.
McBriar had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to meet a person under the age of 16 for the purpose of sexual gratification, three counts of sexual communication with a child, two counts of making indecent images and two counts of distributing indecent images.
The case against McBriar began in December 2017 when he used a number of social media platforms to engage with whom he believed to be a 14-year-old girl and an 11-year-old girl.
McBriar had numerous conversations with them, many of which were of a sexual nature.
On 18 January 2018 McBriar arranged to meet the 11-year-old to have sexual intercourse.
However, unbeknown to McBriar, the two girls he had been communicating with were actually law enforcement officers.
McBriar was arrested on 19 January after officers from Cheshire Police conducted a warrant at his address in Helsby.
When searching his home officers recovered his mobile phone and laptop. At his place of work officers discovered a hand-written note containing the postcode of where he was going to meet the ‘girl’ and a purposely prepared kit containing baby wipes, a golf towel, condoms and petroleum jelly.
After being questioned McBriar was released under investigation while officers continued to gather evidence against him.
Just seven months later, in August 2018, officers discovered that McBriar was again using social media to engage with whom he believed to be a young girl for sexual purposes.
McBriar arranged to meet the 13-year-old. However, once again the ‘girl’ he had been speaking to was actually a law enforcement officer.
He was arrested for a second time on 13 September 2018 and was subsequently charged with a number of offences and remanded in custody.
After today’s sentencing Detective Constable Gill Berry, of Cheshire's Paedophile and Cyber Investigation Team, said: “Firstly I would like to thank the undercover law enforcement officers who have helped to build the case against McBriar.
“I have no doubt that their work has brought a man who was intent of sexually assaulting young girls to justice.
“Indeed, the fact that he continued to attempt to engage with another victim while released under investigation shows the level and volume of predatory behaviour he was willing to show towards children.”
As well as his prison sentence McBriar was was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years and received a 10 year sexual harm prevention order.
DC Berry added: “This case once again highlights the dangers of social media and chat websites, demonstrating that people are often not who they claim to be.
“If anything can come of this case, I hope that it acts as a reminder for all parents and guardians to warn their children of the dangers of communicating with people online and via social media, to check that they are using those things safely and to keep an eye out for any warning signs of sexual exploitation.”
For advice on identifying signs of sexual exploitation visit www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect/child-sexual-exploitation/signs-symptoms-and-effects.
To report a sexual offence call Cheshire Police on 101. Information can also be given online at https://cheshire.police.uk/contact/general-enquiries or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.