Married man arrested in London phone box for trying to meet children

|News, Sexual offences

A married man has been jailed for six years for sharing indecent images of children and trying to meet children.

Graham Rycraft, 51, who posed as a 15-year-old boy, was sentenced to six years in custody and a further four years on licence for attempting to meet and engage in sexual activity with a child, possessing indecent pictures of a child and nine counts of distributing indecent pictures today (20 September 2019) at Snaresbrook Crown Court. He had been found guilty of the offences at a trial that concluded in May.

Rycraft carried out his offending through the use of a secret phone. This phone helped facilitate talking to children online without attracting the attention of his wife or colleagues. He often limited use of the phone to the hours of 8am and 4pm when he would be in work, where his covert messaging would attract less attention.

Rycraft was arrested in a phone box near to his office on Fitzroy Street in central London. He was arranging to meet with a 13-year-old contacted on teenage social networking site, unaware she was an undercover police officer. He gave the phone box number and time he would be there, unwittingly giving the police his location and venue. Upon arrest, the police found his ‘secret phone’ which revealed the true extent of the indecent images that he possessed and shared.

Negeen Momtahen, for the CPS, said: “Rycraft pitched himself online as a 15 year old boy from Camden to target vulnerable children and teenagers.

“He used what he believed were thorough methods to conceal his criminal activities, using a secret phone, a public phone box, and keeping Viagra and condoms in his desk at work.

“In this instance, the subject of Rycraft’s attention was thankfully an undercover police officer, but had he been successful his actions could have led to the abuse and suffering of children. This conviction sends a clear message to similarly-motivated criminals that this behaviour will not go unpunished.”

Notes to editors

  • Graham Rycraft [DOB: 22/09/1968] is from Stratford in the London borough of Newham
  • Rycraft was sentenced to 6 years in prison, with 4 years extended licence
  • Negeen Momtahen is a senior crown prosecutor on the CPS London North Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) unit.

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