Man caught in undercover police sting trying to meet '13-year-old girl'
- Credit: Suffolk Constabulary
A father-of-two caught in an undercover police sting has been jailed after he travelled to Ipswich with the intention of meeting a fictitious 13-year-old girl for sex.
John Beswick, 53, travelled from his home in Lincoln to The Cricketers pub in Ipswich on December 7, 2021, to meet a man he believed to be the stepfather of a teenage girl.
Beswick had been communicating with the man, named Robbie, online since November after he initiated contact via a Russian photo sharing website, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
However, 'Robbie' was actually an undercover police officer posing as the stepfather of a decoy 13-year-old girl called Riley.
Andrew Thompson, prosecuting, told the court the undercover officer, who had the profile name Dirty Dom UK, had received an email from Beswick's ProtonMail account.
From there, the pair started communicating and Beswick was told 'Robbie' had access to his 13-year-old stepdaughter for the purposes of sexual activity.
As the online conversation continued, there was "enthusiasm shown by Beswick to a real meeting", Mr Thompson told the court.
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A category B indecent image of a child dressed in a bondage outfit was uploaded by Beswick and on November 30, discussions were specific about a meeting with sexual activity taking place, the court heard.
On December 7, Beswick met the undercover officer at The Cricketers at 2.12pm, and had with him a packet of M&M peanut sweets, which he was told were the girl's favourite, Mr Thompson said.
He told the officer he had around two hours for the meeting and had concocted a cover story for his visit to Ipswich.
Following his arrest, Beswick claimed to police that he was acting in the public good and trying to find out the identity of the stepfather.
But he pleaded guilty to distributing an indecent image of a child before magistrates in Ipswich on December 11 before admitting arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence at his plea and trial preparation hearing on February 17.
Dr Tunde Okewale, mitigating, said Beswick had no previous convictions and had two children currently at university.
Beswick, of Thorpe Lane, Lincoln, also wrote a letter to Judge David Pugh expressing his genuine remorse.
Sentencing Beswick on Wednesday, Judge Pugh told him: "There is no doubt, in my mind, what your intention was."
Beswick was jailed for a total of 30 months, and half of the sentence will be served in custody before his release on licence.
He was also made subject to notification requirements until further order.