Prison sentence handed to ‘proficient groomer’ who engaged with young girls online

James Birkett

James Birkett - Credit: Archant

A man who engaged with young girls as part of an ‘unreal fantasy world’ has been jailed.

James Birkett of Lake Way, Huntingdon previously pleaded guilty to one count of making indecent images, and two counts of inciting a girl aged 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity.

On Friday (November 25) the 47-year-old was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years at Peterborough Crown Court.

Birkett used online chat and video messaging sites to communicate with people identifying themselves as girls under 15. He would request that they refer to him as ‘Daddy’, sent them explicit pictures of himself and instructed them not to talk to anyone else about their conversations.

Acting on information received, a warrant was issued and Birkett was arrested in October and a number of devices including mobile phones, laptops, iPods and memory cards were seized.

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Officers discovered 1,898 indecent images of category A, B and C as well as explicit conversations between him and eight teenage girls identifying themselves as under the age of 15.

Detective Sergeant James Weston said: “I’d like to express my gratitude towards the Digital Forensic Unit and the Paedophile Investigation Unit for their hard work and commitment in obtaining the evidence to secure the conviction of another sex offender who posed a high risk of causing significant harm to children.

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“Birkett was a proficient groomer who incited children to engage in sexual activity for his own personal pleasure.

“I would urge parents to always take an active interest in what their children are doing online. Introduce parental controls, block problematic websites and talk to them about the dangers of speaking to strangers online.”

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