May 2021

Man jailed for sex offences

A man has been sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment for sex offences after he travelled to London with the intention of committing his crimes.

James Ritchie, 30, (04.10.91) of Ballroyd Road, Huddersfield, arranged to travel more than 190 miles from Huddersfield to London with the intention of sexually abusing underage children.

Ritchie was charged with:

  • Arranging / Facilitating the Commission of a Child Sex Offence

  • Possession of Category A, B and C Indecent Images of Children

  • Possession of Extreme Pornographic Images (Beastiality)

He was sentenced to eight years immediate custodial imprisonment at the Inner London Crown Court on Friday, 21 May.

The sentencing comes after Ritchie approached a covert profile online believing they could help him gain access to young children.

During the conversations, Ritchie described in detail the abuse that he intended to commit, and his desire to gain access to children of an extremely young age.

Ritchie sent a number of intimate images of himself and requested that they were shown to the children before he met with them, and made claims of abusing other children in the past.

Ritchie, who has a degree in Engineering, also divulged that he had added extra security measures to his phone, including a ‘kill switch’ which would delete the entire contents of the phone if necessary, in order to hide his offending from his partner and family.

After weeks of conversation across various messaging platforms and conversations on the phone, Ritchie agreed with the individual he was speaking to online to travel to London to meet and abuse the children.

He intended to stay for the duration of the weekend.

On 10 July 2020, Ritchie drove for over four hours from Huddersfield to Clapham.

Ritchie was arrested by officers on scene, who took possession of his phone whilst it was unlocked. This prevented him from hitting the ‘kill switch’ he had previously described, securing evidence which proved essential at trial.

A search was conducted of his home address by Met officers, supported by West Yorkshire Police, and a number of electronic devices were recovered and forensically examined.

Following review of the devices officers had seized, it was identified that Ritchie had a number of images of child sexual abuse, including Category A images – the most explicit form of indecent images of children.