‘Internet paedophile’ sentenced after undercover operation


- Credit: Archant

A MAN who thought he was talking to a 13-year-old girl on a social networking site but was really speaking to undercover police has received a suspended sentence for attempted child grooming.

Ralph Peebles-Brown, aged 54, of Barnabas Close in Axbridge, was sentenced to 15-months imprisonment, suspended for two years, at Taunton Crown Court today (Thurs).

In June 2012, Peebles-Brown contacted who he thought was a 13-year-old girl – but in reality was talking to a covert internet investigator for the Metropolitan Police.

Over the next four months, he engaged the ‘girl’ in sexually explicit conversations, sent her images of child abuse and text and called her to arrange a meeting in London.

At an earlier court hearing, he admitted to one count of attempted grooming and one count of distribution of images of children.

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He also admitted to seven counts of making indecent images of children and two counts of attempting to cause a child to watch a sex act.

Along with the suspended sentence, he has received a 10-year Sexual Offenders Prevention Order (SOPO) and been placed on the sex offenders’ register.

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Detective Constable Geoff Colvin, investigating officer at Avon and Somerset Constabulary, said: “Peebles-Brown set out to contact an underage girl through a social media site.

“Once he made contact, he began grooming her and would encourage her to engage in conversations of an increasingly sexual nature, culminating in making an arrangement to meet her on October 6, 2012 in London.

“Peebles-Brown was running late so did not make their planned meeting, but he sent the ‘girl’ an apology the next day before sending her more indecent material.

“A file was sent to us by the Metropolitan Police and Peebles-Brown was arrested on October 17, 2012.

“As part of the investigation, his computer equipment was seized and more than 200 indecent images and movies were found.

“We remain fully committed to unmasking online paedophiles and making the internet a safer place.

“This investigation is a prime example of how we are working successfully with our colleagues in the Metropolitan Police and sharing expertise and intelligence in order to bring offenders like Peebles-Brown to justice.”

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