A 45-year-old paedophile suggested to a 13-year-old ‘girl’ he met online they meet for “naked massages”, a court heard.

Richard Anthony began messaging the ‘girl’ in January 2019 and asked for pictures of ‘her’ several times before suggesting they meet.

What he didn’t know, a court heard, was that his intended victim was in fact an undercover officer posing as the ‘girl’.

Police raided Anthony’s house in Laburnum Way, St Ives, on June 18, 2019, and seized his electronic devices.

On Friday (June 4) at Peterborough Crown Court, Anthony was jailed for two years and four months.

He admitted attempting to incite a girl aged 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity at an earlier hearing.

DC Keith Evans, of the force’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT), said: “Despite believing he was speaking with a young girl, Anthony continued to send inappropriate messages and even asked to meet in person.

“He has shown he is a threat to children but thankfully his sentence means he will be behind bars for some time.”

The previous day the same court sentenced another paedophile who had previously avoided jail for failing to stick to the terms of his Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).

Michael Bullimore, of Chapel Street, Stanground, was convicted of sexual activity with a child, making indecent images of children, possessing an extreme pornographic image and possessing a prohibited image of a child in July 2017.

The 26-year-old was handed a suspended sentence but given a SHPO for five years, allowing police to manage and monitor his online behaviour, and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for ten years.

The SHPO prohibited him from deleting his internet history.

However, enquiries by the force’s Public Protection Unit (PPU) in March this year raised concerns and officers from the team visited Bullimore’s home.

During the visit two phones and a tablet were examined and seized due to their concerning content.

Checks revealed Bullimore had been visiting pornography websites daily and searching for content involving children under the age of 16.

The phones and tablet were examined and, on the phones, there were a total of 16 category C images, 38 category B images and 103 category A images – the most severe.

Further investigations revealed Bullimore had failed to tell police he had access to a family member’s laptop for a day.

He also failed to tell officers about a digital camera, an external hard drive and a phone which were later found in his room. Both of these were breaches of his SHPO.

In police interview Bullimore answered “no comment” to all questions.

However, he later admitted three counts of making indecent images of children and two counts of breaching a SHPO.

He was sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court on June 3 to 16 months' imprisonment, suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and a 40-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

Bullimore was also made the subject of a new Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) for 10 years, and was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for the same timeframe.

Recorder Sandeep Kainth said his offences showed a “disturbing pattern”, with children suffering and him “fuelling” those who make or upload indecent images.

He warned the defendant that if he came before the courts again for similar offences, he would be jailed.

DC Stuart Cooper, who investigated, said: “Bullimore’s behaviour was completely inappropriate and he clearly failed to learn his lesson from his previous convictions of a similar nature.

“Alongside this was the discovery of indecent images on the phones. A child is victimised not only when an indecent image is taken, but also every time it is viewed or shared.

“I hope this case highlights our commitment to bringing those who ignore SHPOs to justice and protecting young people from harm.”

People who are concerned someone may have been convicted of a sex offence, and could be posing a risk to a child, can apply for disclosure information through Sarah’s Law: https://bit.ly/34H6DiD

Anyone who looks out for the welfare of a child can make an enquiry. This can include parents, carers, guardians, extended family, friends and neighbours.