A 51-year-old man from Bedford has been sentenced to four years and has been handed a lifelong sexual harm prevention order for plotting to commit sexual offences against a child.
Ian Stockdale, of Haynes Road, Bedford, was charged with one count of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence, two counts of making indecent photographs of children and one count of possessing indecent photographs of children.
He was sentenced at Luton Crown Court after pleading guilty to all offences.
The ex-teacher came to the attention of Bedfordshire Police after he engaged in conversations with a woman on social media regarding sexually abusing her nine-year-old daughter.
The woman was an undercover officer from Bedfordshire Police’s Cyber Hub Team.
Stockdale went as far as suggesting what acts the woman could perform on the child and then proceeded to discuss meeting with the woman and her child to commit sexual offences against the child.
He had arranged to meet the woman on 17 July 2021, however, due to the significant threat he posed to children as a then teacher at a secondary school in Bedford, officers decided to arrest him prior to the meeting at his home address on 14 July 2021.
Officers seized a number of devices from his address which identified numerous explicit photos of children and explicit conversations about sexually abusing children.
Detective Constable Bianca Lazar from Bedfordshire Police Cyber Hub said: “Stockdale is a dangerous predator who posed a significant threat to children.
“I have no doubt that if we had not arrested him prior to the arranged meet, he would have gone ahead with his plan to meet our undercover officer under the belief that he was meeting the woman to commit sexual offences against her child.
“This behaviour is disturbing of anybody, but of a teacher, who should be a trusted member of our society, it somehow makes it all the more worrying and disturbing.”
Bedfordshire Police is committed to proactively protecting vulnerable children by targeting those who pose a risk and will go to extreme measures to ensure dangerous predators like Stockdale are brought to justice.
The force has a dedicated team, who are amongst the most effective in the country at identifying and arresting those who pose a significant risk to the safety and wellbeing of the children in our communities. The extremely difficult and demanding work they do is imperative in protecting children in our communities.
If you are worried about the safety of a child online or have concerns that someone you know may be committing sexual offences against children or making or distributing explicit materials of children online, please report it to police via 101 or online. In an emergency, always call 999.