A FORMER steward at a Burnley working men’s club has been jailed for child sex grooming and possessing thousands of indecent images.
Brian Bailey, 44, was caught out by a specialist agency which tracks online child abusers who notified London’s Metropolitan Police and Lancashire Police.
Detectives acted on evidence gathered by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre, which is linked to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). Bailey was initially arrested at his home in Briercliffe Road, Burnley, by Lancashire police on July 25 last year.
He pleaded guilty to 13 separate charges, including attempting to engage a 12-year-old girl in sexual activity in Burnley last May.
He also admitted at Southwark Crown Court making more than 4,000 indecent photographs of children – including 16 at level five, the most serious category of abuse.
Bailey worked at Byerden House Socialist Society Club and Institute, in Colne Road, for 18 months but quit two weeks ago.
His mother handed the keys in to club president John Hill. Bailey had not told the club committee of his arrest and court case.
Mr Hill said: “If we’d have known he’d have been sacked. Nobody was shocked more than we were. He did his job ok.
“I think it’s disgusting what he has done. I can’t work out why people would want to treat children like that.
“I can’t even find the words to describe him. I can say we have never had any complaints from parents or members at the club of any innappropriate behaviour but you don’t know what goes on behiind closed doors.”
Bailey was also accused of attempting to arrange a sexual encounter with a 12-year-old girl in London in May and July last year, which prompted the involvement of the Metropolitan Police.
He was found not guilty of that charge, at Southwark Crown Court, but admitted the other 13 offences, including one of attempting to force a child under the age of 13 to watch him engaging in sexual activity, last month.
He was jailed for four years at the same court on June 6 and given an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order, which bans him from working with children.
His mobile phone and all images seized by police will be destroyed.
A CEOP spokesperson said: “It is clear that those who possess indecent images also pose a significant risk to children and understanding and managing that risk is not an easy undertaking.
“However, when we bring together the latest intelligence picture and nationally co-ordinated police action, we are making the UK a more hostile place for those who are seeking to exploit our children.
“If offenders think that collecting child abuse images is something they can get away with, they need to think again.
“This sentence shows once again how law enforcement is becoming increasingly coordinated, sophisticated and innovative in targeting those who commit these crimes.”