September 2011

Jailed: Wigan paedophile trapped by police in internet sting

A paedophile has been jailed after being trapped by a police sting. Thomas Jones, 59, used the internet to groom and arrange to meet a person he believed was a 14-year-old girl.

But it was actually a member of a team of undercover police officers who set up fake profiles of children on social networking sites. He was caught by police when he turned up to meet the ‘girl’ in Eccles. Jones, of Clap Gate Lane, Wigan, was sentenced to 12 months at Liverpool Crown Court.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to sexual grooming of a child, arranging to meet a child following sexual grooming, engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, making / possessing an indecent photograph of a child and making / possessing an indecent photograph of a child.

He has been ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years. Jones used a website called ‘Just Chat’ to find the ‘girl’ and then used an internet chat facility to contact her in private. Between September 2010 and October 2010, the facility was used 25 times, and his conversation was centred around arranging to meet the girl.

He constantly made sexual references towards her. During one MSN conversation Jones exposed himself to the girl on a webcam. Having failed to turn up at his first arranged meeting, he arranged another meeting at McDonald’s in Eccles, Salford. Jones travelled to meet the girl but could not find the restaurant.

On Friday, October 29, 2010, officers from Greater Manchester Police’s Sexual Crime Unit arrested Jones on suspicion of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming. The police found a written note on a scrap of paper in Jones’ works van. The note was the postcode for McDonalds in Eccles.