A man from Chester who attempted to sexually exploit children online has been jailed.
Craig Warr, 41, appeared at Chester Crown Court on Friday 2 November, where he was sentenced to 12 months in prison.
He had earlier pleaded guilty to four counts of attempted sexual communication with a child and four counts of attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act.
The charges relate to online activity between June 2018 and October 2018, when Warr formed relationships with whom he believed to be four separate girls under the age of 13.
In each case Warr contacted the girls through social media using a number of false profile names, including Jay Write, Jaywrite1, Boredjay, Moonstar (DayandNight1066) and Jay Jay.
He then groomed the girls, making them feel special in order to gain their trust and coerce them into engaging in sexual activity.
However, unbeknown to Warr, the ‘girls’ he was engaging with were actually law enforcement officers from the South West, West Midlands and Eastern Regional Organised Crime Units.
The teams presented their evidence to Cheshire Police, who arrested Warr on Thursday 4 October following a raid at his home on Flag Lane, Chester.
Detective Constable Andy Kent, of Cheshire's Paedophile and Cyber Investigation Team, said: “Warr’s conviction is a damning indictment of the level and volume of predatory behaviour he demonstrated towards children.
“Throughout this investigation it has been clear that Warr’s aim was to engage with girls, no matter how old they were, for sexual purposes.
“In each case Warr was well aware of the age of the girls he believed he was communicating with, yet he still sent them sexually explicit videos and images of himself in order to fulfil his own sexual gratification.
“It is quite simply remarkable that Warr was caught in the act by three separate law enforcement agencies at the same time.
“I would like to thank my colleagues at the South West, West Midlands and Eastern Regional Organised Crime Units.
“Due to their dedication and commitment, along with the work of the team here at Cheshire Police, Warr is now behind bars and will no longer be able to abuse children.”
Upon sentencing Warr, His Honour Judge Patrick Thompson said his behaviour was ‘utterly disgusting’ and stated that his sentence 'should serve as a deterrent to other men looking to engage with children online’.
In addition to his prison sentence, Warr was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years and handed a 10 year sexual harm prevention order.
DC Kent added: “This case highlights the dangers of social media and chat websites, demonstrating that people may not be who they claim be.
“I also 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.