November 2017

Youth cricket coach who groomed girls online jailed after being caught in a covert sting run by police

A youth cricket coach who groomed girls online has been jailed after being caught in a covert sting run by West Midlands Police.

Gary King, whose firm organised cricket tours and festivals for junior girls’ teams, adopted fake instant messenger profiles in a bid to start explicit conversations with schoolgirls.

One of the girls King was trying to groom was actually a covert police officer who was working with a West Midlands team that tries to snare paedophiles who are targeting children online.

The 56-year-old unknowingly started explicit conversations with covert cyber-cops on social media last September and again in March this year.

The former Worcestershire youth cricket coach then tried to flee to his Spanish holiday home but police arrested him at Stansted Airport before he could board his flight.

King’s laptop revealed evidence of sexual online chats with an unidentified 14-year-old girl which ran for seven days in 2017.

And a USB stick seized from his home was also found to contain indecent images of girls which he’d downloaded from the internet.

In a police interview, King, from Creed Road in Oundle, Northamptonshire, admitted the offences but claimed it was “fantasy role play” and that he had no intention of meeting the girls.

He admitted a total of six counts of attempting to incite a child to commit sexual activity with penetration, plus another of making indecent images of children.

He was jailed for 16 months and was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years for child online grooming offences at Birmingham Crown Court on November 6.