Man jailed for attempting to meet teenage boy - Stevenage

27/10/2017

A council fraud investigator was jailed for 15 months today, Friday, 27 October 2017, after he was was caught trying to meet a 14-year-old boy in a police sting.

Paul Taylor drove in his BMW to a park thinking he was going to meet a schoolboy called James. He had previously been chatting to the boy on the gay dating site Grindr. What he didn't know was that the boy he had been talking to online was actually an undercover police officer.

When Taylor, aged 48, pulled up in Fairlands Park in Stevenage the police were waiting and he was arrested.

Today, Taylor of Harfier Mill, Henlow, Beds appeared at Luton Crown Court for sentence having earlier been found guilty, after a trial, of attempting to meet a child aged under 16.

The court heard it was in January of this year that Taylor began chatting to a person he believed was a 14-year-old boy on Grindr, a dating app widely used by the gay community, and Kik. Taylor, who works in Stevenage, asked for photos and the conversation swiftly moved to one of a sexual nature.

The undercover officer, who gave evidence to the jury behind a screen, said that while posing as James, he talked about his Mum, Nan and school to reiterate the message that he was 14.

The court was told that when questioned by the police Taylor told the police he did not believe the person he was going to meet was under 14. He said he believed he was the victim of a hoax and said he was going to complain to the hoaxer and warn him about his behaviour. He told the police that had the person he met been 14 he would have left.

His barrister, Pamela Brain, told the court Taylor had lost his job, his car that went with it and had put his home up for sale because he was now unable to afford the mortgage repayments.

Judge Nigel Lithman QC jailed Taylor for 15 months. He told him: "I accept you have bought calamity down upon your head."

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