March 2021

Ipswich man tried to meet 13-year-old girl at Christchurch Park

An Ipswich man has been told he faces an almost inevitable jail sentence for trying to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex.

Russell Holman thought he was going to meet a 13-year-old girl in Christchurch Park, Ipswich, on February 21 this year.

But the 35-year-old, of Curlew Road, Ipswich, had actually been communicating with a covert police officer.

Holman appeared at Ipswich Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing on Monday.

During a short hearing, he spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth before admitting two offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

He pleaded guilty to intentionally arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence, namely engaging in sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old female, between January 29 and February 21.

He also pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, namely detailing sexual acts he wanted to perform with her, and what sexual acts she was prepared to engage in, between January 29 and February 21.

The court heard that Holman was found in possession of a bag containing condoms and lubricant.

Barrister Peter Spary said Holman accepted he had communicated and attended for the purpose of penetrative sexual activity.

Recorder Guy Ayers ordered a sentencing hearing to be listed for the week beginning May 10.

He told Holman: “You had the very good sense to plead guilty, and the judge who passes sentence will give the appropriate amount of credit, but you must understand that these are very serious offences and it’s almost inevitable there will be a substantial custodial sentence.”

Holman was released on conditional bail until his sentencing.