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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Morecombe man who boasted about child rape to undercover cop, jailed

A Morecambe man who boasted online about raping and abusing a child has been jailed for 14 years.

Brian David Smith of Fairhope Avenue, appeared at Preston Crown Court on January 19 and was sentenced to an extended three years’ licence.

Smith (57) was convicted of rape, indecent assault, arranging or facilitating the commission of a sexual offence and making indecent images of children. He was also made subjected to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and ordered to sign the Sex Offender’s Register for life.

Online chat

In October 2019, Smith was engaged in an online chat with a man – who unbeknown to him was actually an investigating officer from the North East Regional Organised Crime Unit (NEROCU) – when he admitted sexually abusing a child.

He had further phone conversations with the officer and arranged to meet who he thought would be a 12-year-old girl and planned to take her virginity.

Smith travelled from his home in Morecambe in November 2019 to the pre-arranged location in the North East only to find officers from NEROCU waiting to arrest him.

He was arrested on suspicion of attempting to arrange or facilitate the commission of a child sex offence and while under caution said: “I don’t know why I did it. I’ve made a big mistake.”

Extreme abuse images

When he was searched, Smith was found to be in possession of sex toys, sweets and a mobile phone.

Later the same day, officers from Lancashire Police searched Smith’s home and found indecent images of children and extreme pornographic images on several of his electronic devices.

Officers managed to track down the victim of Smith’s sexual abuse and she confirmed she was just eight years old when it started. It only stopped after she attempted to take her own life.

Sordid sexual interest in girls

PC Jill Woodley of Lancashire Police, said: “Smith is a dangerous individual who has a long-standing and sordid sexual interest in young girls. He is a man who presents a very real danger to children, and I welcome the sentence handed down to him.

“I want to praise the victim for her bravery throughout this case and thank her for having faith in us to get justice for her, even though these offences happened several decades ago.”

Support for victims

Detective inspector Leonard from NEROCU, said: “This is another fantastic result which reinforces our commitment to protecting all children from predators like Smith.

“When sex offenders operate online, they feel hidden, but operations like this demonstrate the resources and tools at our disposal as well as the robust partnership working capable of protecting victims and bringing offenders before the courts.

“Not only has this investigation led to the arrest and conviction of a dangerous sex offender but has enabled the safeguarding and support of a victim.

“We would always encourage anyone with information about this type of offending, or anyone who thinks they have been a victim to come forward and talk to police – you will be supported.”

If you or somebody you know has been the victim of a sexual offence, email [email protected] or call 101. If a crime is in progress, call 999.




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