A predatory pensioner was caught by police after agreeing to meet and sexually abuse a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl.
Alan Ullyett, aged 77, had arranged to meet the girl at a supermarket car park in Lincoln – unaware he was actually talking to a law enforcement officer posing online as a child.
When he arrived on 24 March last year he was met by officers and arrested.
Ullyett had been monitored since first coming to police attention 12 months earlier when he sent sexually explicit messages to another officer he believed to be a teenage girl.
Multiple electronic devices were seized at the time and later found to contain dozens of indecent images of children.
Ullyett, who at the time was recovering from serious health problems, remained under investigation by specialist child protection officers and was about to be charged at the time of his arrest.
When he was interviewed by detectives, Ullyett admitted being aware of the girls’ apparent ages but claimed he was only engaging in “banter”.
He later pleaded guilty to three counts of attempting to cause a child to engage in sexual activity, attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, and three counts of making an indecent photograph of a child.
Appearing at Nottingham Crown Court on Monday (4 September) Ullyett, of Main Street, Thorney, was jailed for three years and added to the sex offenders’ register for life.
He will also be subject to a sexual harm prevention order when he is released, which will tightly restrict his online activities going forward.
Detective Constable Ed Priestley, of Nottinghamshire Police, said:
“Ullyett may be old and frail but there is no doubt he poses a significant risk to the welfare of young girls.
“He absolutely believed he was talking to real teenage girls here and would at the very least have exposed them to considerable emotional distress if they had been real people.
“Whilst we don’t go into great detail about these kinds of operation, I do want to reassure the public that people like Ullyett are very much on our radar, and that specialist police officers are working night and day to catch them and put them in jail.
“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of children and we will do whatever it takes to protect them from harm.
“That work can be very challenging and at times upsetting for the officers involved, but results like this remind us just how important it is.”