A prolific sex offender who travelled nearly 250 miles to sexually abuse a teenage girl in a hotel room has been jailed.
In March, David Russell, 60, was arrested by officers from Greater Manchester Police inside a Bolton hotel room which he had booked as part of a sickening plan to abuse the 13-year-old.
Russell – who drove to the North West from where he had been living in Essex – had been plotting the abuse for weeks through a series of online messages exchanged with a woman he believed to be the girl’s mother.
Unbeknown to him, he had actually been speaking with undercover officers from the North East Regional Special Operations Unit.
Russell, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to 19 counts of sexual offences during a hearing at Bolton Crown Court on July 24. He was jailed for nine years with an extended licence period of four years.
Detective Sergeant Scott Urwin of NERSOU said: “David Russell is a dangerous paedophile who repeatedly targeted vulnerable young girls. He was a prolific offender who just did not believe he would be caught and I am glad he is now behind bars where he is no longer a danger to anyone.
“Not only did he groom young girls but he targeted mothers in a bid to get his hands on their children and genuinely believed he could coerce them into helping him plan and carry out his horrific abuse.
“We will continue to educate young people and parents of the dangers posed by the internet and what steps they can take to look after themselves and we encourage children in particular not to talk to strangers online and never let anyone encourage you to engage in to carrying out sexual acts. You never know who might be on the other side of the camera.”
A court heard prior to Russell’s arrest, he had been the subject of simultaneous investigations by both Essex and Sussex Police forces.
Officers at Essex Police had already seized a number of devices from the predator, discovering a collection of indecent images.
He was released under investigation while those devices were examined but was re-arrested after he was caught sending sexually explicit messages to girls as young as 11.
PC Sam Kyle, of Essex Police’s Online Investigations Team, said: “The nature of Russell’s offending is some of the most distressing and sickening I have witnessed.
“It is clear to me that he spends a large portion of his spare time online where he seeks to engage in sexual communication with vulnerable young people.
“Within a number of the conversations it was evident that Russell would force such conversations with his victims within seconds of them identifying as under 18.
“A number of his victims had asked him to stop however he would continue, causing extreme irreversible and unfair distress vulnerable children.
“Russell poses a real danger and threat to the public and is now in the best place.”
Russell, of no fixed abode, appeared at Bolton Crown Court on July 24 where he pleaded guilty to 19 counts of sexual offences on two indictments, including:
- Arranging / facilitating the commission of a child sex offence
- Attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child
- Attempting to cause a child aged 13 to 15 to watch / look at an image of sexual activity
- Attempting to meet a girl under 16 years of age following grooming