Washington pervert who thought he was having dirty chat with 13-year-old caught by undercover police

A pervert who tried to engage in sex chat with a schoolgirl online was snared by an undercover police officer and found to have indecent images of children.

Darran Faith began talking to another profile on an online chat site and was told she was just 13, to which he replied that she was “too young for naughty chat”. But Faith soon steered the conversation towards sexual content, asking if she had a boyfriend and if they had engaged in a sex act.

Faith, who indicated he used the online platform to carry out sexual activity on camera, moved the chat to Skype and WhatsApp and asked if she wanted to watch him doing something via video and touch him sexually. He then sent a picture of himself wearing boxer shorts and made two attempts to video call her, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

As a result of that behaviour, police attended his home and did a search. On his devices, they found 14 of the most serious, category A images, 10 category B and eight category C. He had also made 38 searches for words linked to looking for such material.

Faith, 43, of Lumley Close, Washington, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and three counts of possessing indecent images of children. He was sentenced to 12 months suspended for two years and must sign the sex offenders register and be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.

Recorder Mark McKone KC told him: “Category A images are categorised in that way because children are being raped. These are real images, real crimes which destroy the lives of the children involved. When people like you look at those images online it encourages people to continue making those images.”The court heard he earns a good salary but his barrister said it’s not clear if he will keep it. His barrister said the “stigma that will attach is a stain that will impact on his life”. He added that he has sought help for his “addiction” and argued that the public would be better protected by a suspended sentence.