A sex offender who attempted to engage in sexual communication with three children was actually communicating with undercover police officers.
• Robert Fletcher, a 26-year-old sex offender, was caught attempting to engage in sexual communication with three children, who were in reality, undercover police officers.
• Fletcher was arrested in Radford, Nottingham, on 26 September 2021. An examination of his mobile phone revealed 13 indecent images of children, including three ‘category A’ images.
• Fletcher pleaded guilty to three counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, two counts of making indecent images of a child, and a further count of possession of cannabis.
• As part of his sentence, Fletcher was made subject to a seven-year sexual harm prevention order, a five-year notification provision, and a three-year community order.
Robert Fletcher, 26, initiated contact with the ‘girls’ via social media apps, sending them sexually explicit photos and requesting they send him pictures of themselves to him.
During their conversations, he was told that one of the girls was aged 12 and the others were 13.
Unbeknown to Fletcher, he was in conversation with undercover officers, which led to his arrest in Radford, Nottingham, on 26 September 2021.
The exchanges took place over two days in July and September 2021.
Following an examination of his mobile phone, 13 indecent images of children were discovered. These included three ‘category A’ images – the most severe classification of indecent images of children.
Checks of his internet search history revealed he had also searched for teen pornography.
Fletcher, formerly of Alfreton Road, Radford, was subsequently charged following an investigation.
He was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday (4 August 2023) after he had pleaded guilty to three counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, two counts of making indecent images of a child and a further count of possession of cannabis.
Fletcher was made subject to a seven-year sexual harm prevention order, a five-year notification provision, and a three-year community order. He must also complete 100 hours of unpaid work and pay a £150 fine as part of his sentence.
In mitigation, the court heard that Fletcher had expressed remorse and had chosen to stop the contact of his own volition.
DS Burrows comment
Detective Sergeant Peter Burrows, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “We take these types of crimes very seriously and we will always do everything we can to protect vulnerable young people and ensure that individuals involved in this sort of criminality are brought to justice.
“This case shows the lengths police will go to to keep children safe and to punish those who attempt to cause them harm.
“I hope it serves as a warning to other sex offenders who are thinking of engaging in this type of activity that they will be caught and will face the consequences of their actions.”