March 2011

Police officer posed as girl, 13, to catch internet pervert

An internet pervert has been jailed after being caught out by a police officer who was posing as a 13-year-old girl.

Christopher Brand tried to groom a teenager called ‘Hannah’ in an online chat room. The 49-year-old sent highly-sexual messages to ‘Hannah’ and arranged to meet up with her – despite being told she was just 13.

He travelled from his home on Kyles Way, Birmingham, to Salford in June last year – thinking he was going to meet the teenager. But ‘Hannah’ was in fact a specially-trained GMP cop posing as a young girl.

And officers swooped on Brand and arrested him when he showed up at the meeting place. Brand pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming when he appeared before a crown court judge in Manchester.

Today, he was sentenced to 21 months behind bars and was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years. Det Sgt Bob Willis, from GMP’s Sexual Crime Unit, said: “When Brand was arrested he claimed he realised ‘Hannah’ was not a teenage girl and only travelled to Salford to confirm this.

“Thankfully, on this occasion, the young girl was a specially trained police officer, but unfortunately Brand’s behaviour is not unusual.