May 2021

Paedophile caught by undercover officer in Cambridgeshire

A paedophile sent pictures of his genitals to a police officer in the mistaken belief that he was sending them to a 12-year-old girl.

David Harper, of Huntingdon Road, Wyton, began messaging the officer on 27 February, 2019, and the chat lasted two days.

In that time, Harper, 33, sent five explicit images. Research identified Harper and he was arrested on his way to work.

His phone was seized along with two laptops and a USB from a house in Hauxton where he lived at the time.

The devices were analysed and a review of data on his phone highlighted a clear sexual interest in children.

In police interview, Harper admitted speaking to the “girl” but claimed he knew she was really an adult and sent pictures of his genitalia to her “for a laugh”.

He claimed he wouldn’t have spoken to her if he had thought she was 12. He then answered ‘no comment’ to all other questions.

However, he later pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, at Peterborough Crown Court