Man caught in police sting trying to meet 14 year-old boy in Norwich park
PUBLISHED: 17:07 15 December 2017 | UPDATED: 14:00 16 December 2017
A man who thought he was meeting a 14 year-old boy he sexually groomed online at a Norwich park was shocked to discover he had been talking to an undercover police officer, a court heard.
David Harris, 57, arranged to meet up with the boy at Waterloo Park but instead he was met by a police “sting” and arrested, Norwich Crown Court heard.
Chris Youell, prosecuting, said that Harris who called himself Wensum 5, arranged to meet the boy at Wensum Park, in Norwich, but when that failed to happen he instead said they should meet-up at Waterloo Park.
Mr Youell said that the undercover officer had made it plain that he was only 14 and yet Harris continued to groom the boy telling him he would do “nothing to hurt him.”
He said that Harris had been waiting at the park when he was arrested by two officers and admitted he was meeting someone but claimed he thought they were 16.
Mr Youell said that police seized two phones and when they were examined they found he had also been chatting with another boy who was 15 and also had five indecent images of children.
Harris of Gilman Road, Norwich, admitted attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming on April 25 this year. He also admitted attempting sexual communication with a child and possession of indecent images.
Ian James, for Harris, said that he deserved credit for his guilty plea and said: “This is a man who has reached the age he has without troubling the courts before in relation to this sort of behaviour.”
He said that Harris was a hard-working man and had never done anything like this before and had not acted in a “coercive way.”
Recorder Peter Guest said that Harris had been caught in a police sting and said that in the message he had sent he made it clear he had been pushing for some sort of intimacy.
However he accepted that they had been attempts and said that he would benefit from help with his sexual offending.
He jailed him for 19 months suspended for two years with a condition he attend a course to address his offending.
Harris was also made his subject to the sex offenders register for 10 years.
He also made him subject to a sexual harm prevention order and made him pay £1000 costs