Paedophile jailed after being caught by undercover police officer

A paedophile was caught out after he messaged four undercover police officers in the belief they were teenage girls.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 10:41 am

Neil Roberts, 45, messaged the ‘girls’ on a social media platform using a fake name between November 2019 and May last year.

All of the chats were sexual in nature and Roberts knew the age of each girl he believed he was chatting to.

In the midst of a national Covid-19 lockdown, he told one of the girls he could “be there in an hour”, while he also bragged about giving massages.

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Neil Roberts

On another chat he asked if the ‘girl’ ever slept naked and if she would ever date anyone his age.

A warrant was carried out at his home in Newnham Close, Hartford, Huntingdon, and he was arrested.

In police interview he admitted chatting sexually to the girls knowing they had made their ages clear. He told officers he was lonely and sought companionship.

Roberts was served a postal requisition charging him with four counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and one count of attempting to incite a girl 13-15 to engage in sexual activity.

He admitted all five charges at Peterborough Crown Court on Thursday (22 July) where he was sentenced to a total of two years and four months in prison.

He was also made the subject of a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for the same timeframe.

DC Neal Holdsworth who investigated, said: “Mobile phones and social media mean children can be vulnerable to those who prey on their innocence and exploit their trust. In this case, Roberts was stopped and arrested thanks to undercover officers.

“Protecting young people from harm is one of our top priorities and we will continue to work tirelessly to keep them safe.”

Anyone who is concerned someone may have been convicted of a sex offence, and could be posing a risk, can apply for disclosure information through Sarah’s Law: https://bit.ly/2UBVT3A