January 2021

Man snared by ‘paedophile hunters’ after trying to meet 11-year-old girl

A paedophile who avoided jail after he was snared whilst trying to meet an 11-year-old girl with condoms in his car has now been jailed.

Robert Beresford, 47, was caught during a ‘paedophile hunter’ sting operation in 2019, after he planned to meet the fake schoolgirl for sex.

The dad-of-one, from Eccles, received a suspended sentence at Liverpool Crown Court for arranging to meet a child under the age of 16 following grooming in June 2019.

But he was hauled back before the courts today (January 27) after he was found to be in breach of 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Minshull Street Crown Court heard that Beresford had been caught by police with a number of electronic devices he was banned from keeping.

Beresford, of Matlock Street, Eccles, was jailed for 18 months for two counts of breach of a sexual harm prevention order.

Joshua Bowker, prosecuting, told the court that in 2019, the defendant had messaged an account he thought belonged to a girl on a dating app.

“He referred to practising safe sex and asked her if she would consider having sex with him,” Mr Bowker said.

“The defendant was in communication with what he thought was an 11-year-old girl but it was in fact an adult male paedophile hunter.

“Police were informed and the defendant was arrested at the meeting spot.”

The court heard that as he was detained, police officers discovered condoms and pack of tissues inside his car.

Beresford received a sentence of 16 months suspended for two years and was made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders register.

Under that order he was prohibited from using internet enabled devices and devices capable of strong images unless police had been notified.

“On November 28, 2020, police officers attended his address to conduct a spot check,” Mr Bowker told the court.

“He gave officers an iPhone and was asked if there were any other items in the property, to which he said no.”

Mr Bowker told the court that after checking Beresford’s email account, officers became suspicious and a search of the property was conducted.

In total, police found four laptops, two mobile phones, memory sticks, two digital cameras, an external hard drive and an internet router, the court was told.

Two of the devices were examined by police but no indecent images or conversations with children were found, Mr Bowker said.

The court heard that since his last court appearance, Beresford had began a relationship with a woman who he had met online, and who has a young daughter.