Man, 47, convicted of trying to meet a child for sex
Main article content
A 47-year-old man has been convicted of sex offences after he tried to meet a child which actually turned out to be an undercover police officer.
In October last year, Andrew Barton, previously of Hereford, started chatting to a girl he believed was 14-years-old on an online messaging app.
The conversation continued for three days before Barton invited the girl to meet him in the Sixfields area of Northampton for sexual purposes.
However, when he arrived at the meeting point, he was greeted by officers from Northamptonshire Police who arrested him. In an initial hurry to get away however, he reversed his car into one of the officer’s vehicles.
Despite initially claiming he was “making deliveries” in the area as opposed to trying to meet the underage girl, he was subsequently charged with attempting to meet a girl under 16 following grooming, attempting to incite/engage a girl 13-15 to engage in sexual activity, and arranging/facilitating the commission of an offence of sexual activity with a child.
Barton pleaded guilty to the offences at an earlier hearing at Northampton Crown Court in December last year and was sentenced at the same court last week (February 10) to three years in prison.
Detective Sergeant Helena Congreve, said: “Thankfully, the child in this case was not real and was actually an undercover police officer, however this does not take away from the very serious fact that Andrew Barton believed he was meeting a 14-year-old girl.
“Barton knew she was 14 and therefore unable to consent to sexual activity and yet he still chose to try and meet her.
“I am really pleased with the result we’ve had here and I hope it sends a message to other predators out there that we will catch you and that we are proactive and determined to bring people who would look to harm our children to justice.
“Finally, I just want to commend DC Caroline Knight for leading this investigation. Her work has been diligent, professional and reflective of the whole team’s passion to put offenders like Andrew Barton behind bars.”