Paedophile exposed in undercover police operation

Peterborough Crown Court 

Neil Ellis, on Wednesday May 5, was sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

A paedophile was caught by undercover police officers after he used social media to send inappropriate messages to a 14-year-old.

Neil Ellis, 56, sent messages and images of a sexual nature to a school boy called ‘Jay’ on Grinder, between November 28 and December 12 2019.

In the messages, Ellis invited the teenager to his house in West Street, Huntingdon, to engage in sexual activity.

He also asked the boy to send photos and gave him a phone number so he could send him inappropriate videos.

The boy, who was in fact an undercover officer, reminded Ellis on a number of occasions that he was just 14.

On December 17 2019 Ellis arranged to meet the boy in Huntingdon and Ellis was arrested at his home. His phone, containing the messages to the boy, was seized.

Ellis pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual communication with a child and attempting to meet a boy under 16 following grooming.

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At Peterborough Crown Court on Wednesday (May 5) he was sentenced to 22 months in prison, suspended for two years, placed on the Sex Offenders Register for ten years and given a ten-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order. He must also carry out 150 hours unpaid work, and complete a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

Detective Constable Gareth Purdy said: “Ellis used the internet to deliberately target a young child. His behaviour was completely inappropriate. Protecting young people from harm is one of our top priorities and we will continue to work tirelessly to keep our communities safe.”

Anyone who is concerned someone may have been convicted of a sex offence and could be posing a risk to someone, can apply for disclosure information through Sarah’s Law: