Paedophile sentenced for attempting to meet 13-year-old


A 52-year-old paedophile has received a custodial sentence after admitting going online and attempting to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex.

Bernard Merrells befriended the girl in a chat room, asked to be her boyfriend, and sent explicit images of himself before arranging to meet her.

He was unaware, however, that the 'girl' was in fact a man, who then passed the information to police.

Dean Quick, District Crown Prosecutor said: "This case is a clear demonstration of the dangers children face when they access online chat rooms.

"It has been well publicised how some paedophiles use the internet in this way.

"Fortunately on this occasion there was no child at risk and the Police were duly informed of the defendant's activity.

"The age restrictions placed on these websites are there to protect children from inappropriate content and this case is a reminder that parents should ensure their children remain safe when using the internet."

Merrells admitted one count of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity. He was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment, which was suspended for two years, at Swansea Crown Court today. He was also ordered to complete a rehabilitation course and given a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years as well as having to sign the sex offenders register.