Man, 58, who went to Ipswich pub to meet 'schoolgirl' is jailed

Darren Heather Ipswich Crown Court

Darren Heather thought he was a meeting a 13-year-old at the Cricketer's Pub in Ipswich - Credit: Archant/Suffolk Police

A 58-year-old man who was lured to The Cricketers pub in Ipswich to meet a decoy schoolgirl after discussing having sex with her with an undercover police officer he believed to be her stepfather has been jailed for 44 months.

Sentencing Darren Heather, Recorder Graham Huston described the discussions between him and the undercover officer leading up to the meeting as “sickening".

Darren Heather was arrested after meeting the undercover officer called ‘Robbie’ at The Cricketers pub in Ipswich with the expectation of them both having sex with the fictitious 13-year-old girl called ‘Riley’, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

darren heather witham

Darren Heather, from Witham, was jailed for 44 months - Credit: Suffolk Police

Meyrick Williams, prosecuting, said when Heather was arrested he was found in possession of condoms, a blue thong and some strawberry jam.

He told police the communication with the undercover officer had been “fantasy” and he had no intention of having sex with the “schoolgirl.”

Heather, of Silver End, Witham, admitted attempting to arrange or facilitate the commission of a child sex offence.

In addition to being jailed he was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order until further notice and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life.

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Peter Spary, for Heather, described his client, who has no previous convictions, as “naive” and said he regretted what he did.