A man who tried to make plans to sexually abuse a young girl, but was actually communicating online with a law enforcement officer, has been jailed for two years and nine months.
Michael Bamfield, 59, from Bristol, was sentenced during a hearing at Swindon Crown Court today (08/09/20).
He had previously pleaded guilty to one charge of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence.
Bamfield was arrested following proactive work by police officers from Wiltshire Police’s Child Internet Exploitation Team which had revealed his online activity.
Between February and June 2020 Bamfield communicated online and via Whatsapp with someone he believed was the mother of a ten-year-old girl.
He discussed his sexual interest in children, before making arrangements to meet the woman’s child in Swindon, with the intention of sexually abusing her.
However, the child in question was not real, and he was in fact communicating with a law enforcement officer.
Bamfield travelled to the meeting location on 4 June 2020 and was arrested by police.
When officers searched his car they found alcohol, bubble bath and sweets.
Det Con Julia Vince, from Wiltshire Police, said: “The work of the Child Internet Exploitation Team aims to protect children and young people who are at risk of being abused by predators.
“In this particular case, the “child” in question was not actually real, but we were left with no doubt that Bamfield posed a serious and dangerous risk to children.
“He used the internet to find a victim, discussed in detail the abuse he wanted to carry out, and then made plans to meet a child, before driving from Bristol to Swindon with the intention of committing these offences.
“Our communities are safer with Bamfield behind bars.”
If you believe someone you know is at risk of abuse, or you have concerns about a potential offender, please call Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.