Jailed paedophile banned from Web

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The Independent Online

An internet paedophile was jailed for six months and banned from all online chatrooms after he was trapped by a policeman posing as a 13-year-old boy.

Robert Coleshill was arrested by West Midlands Police paedophile unit when he suggested meeting the boy for sex, unaware he was communicating with an undercover officer.

He was tracked by police in response to a complaint and, in the first operation of its kind, an officer posed as a teenager, using the log-on name Britney Boy, and struck up a dialogue with Coleshill. The messages from Coleshill, 53, of Uckfield, East Sussex, became more explicit. He sent images of himself masturbating to the "boy", and eventually asked to meet him to have sex.

Detectives visited Coleshill's home and found images of children aged between 12 and 13 that he had downloaded from child pornography sites. Coles-hill admitted four charges of gross indecency and six counts of being in possession of indecent images of children.

Sentencing him at Birmingham Crown Court, Mr Justice Taylor told Coleshill, a father of two, he would remain on the sex offenders register for seven years, banned him from ever working with children and from using any internet chatroom.

Detective Inspector Darren Brookes said Coleshill had not been entrapped and officers had been careful to gather evidence against him without infringing his right to privacy. He said: "We have to take care to investigate whether an offence is actually being committed, because what is morally wrong isn't necessarily criminal."

Malcolm Hutty, the managing director of a web consultancy, Internet Vision, said banning Coleshill from chatrooms was impossible to enforce.