"Dangerous predator" from Bedford jailed after attempting to meet ‘12-year-old girl’ for sex

He sent sexually explicit messages and images

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 8:33 pm

A "dangerous predator" from Bedford has been jailed for two-and-a-half-years after officers found he was attempting to meet, who he believed was, a 12-year-old girl for sex.

Andrew Jeffrey, 38, of Chillingham Green, Bedford, was arrested on January 30, 2019, after sending a number of sexually explicit messages and attempting to meet someone he believed was a 12-year-old girl.

Jeffrey struck up a conversation on an instant messaging app and after only a couple of hours of conversation, Jeffrey sent sexually explicit messages and images and tried to persuade her to come to his house.

Andrew Jeffrey

Investigators became increasingly concerned after Jeffrey described how he could get her “high” on drinks and drugs and two days later, police executed a warrant at his home address, seized a number of electronic devices and arrested him.

Jeffrey pleaded guilty to three counts of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence and one count of attempting sexual communication with a child. He received a 30-month sentence on Friday, March 12.

Emma Shipton, investigation officer from Bedfordshire Police’s internet child abuse investigation team, said: “Jeffrey is a dangerous predator and I’m pleased that he will now spend the next two-and-a-half years in prison.

“This case shows the importance of the work that our officers do in gathering vital evidence to arrest and charge these offenders in what can be a very difficult online space to enter.

“This time Jeffrey was speaking to our officers, but people who commit these types of offences online can often go on to abuse children in the offline world, which is why it is vital we investigate them thoroughly and put safeguarding measures in place.

“It is important that we educate children on how they can protect themselves online. This includes not talking to anyone who they don’t know in real life, not sharing any personal information, and keeping privacy settings as high as possible.

“We’d advise parents to have a conversation with their children about online safety, and make sure that they feel comfortable in speaking about anything they see online which makes them feel uncomfortable.”