Glenn Jones, 56, of Tutsham Way, Tonbridge, made the ‘significant’ trip to a shopping centre in Shoreham with the intent of committing sexual offences with the child.
But upon arriving, the former police inspector was greeted by officers from the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit and he was arrested on September 25 last year.
Jones, who used to work for Thames Valley Police, has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison after a jury unanimously found him guilty of child sex offences at Guildford Crown Court on February 13.
He will also serve a further three years on licence.
During his trial, Jones claimed that he never intended to undertake any abuse and was just ‘curious’.
The police investigation found that, between August 6 and September 25 last year had spent significant time arranging the meeting.
Jones was already a register sex offender prior to this incident having pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children.
Detective Inspector Emily Evans said: ‘Jones had travelled a significant distance from his home in Kent with the full intention of meeting a child to abuse them.
‘It is clear that he has not learned from his previous conviction, and I am therefore pleased that he has been handed a custodial sentence reflective of his abhorrent intentions.
‘Child abuse is one of the most repugnant crimes we deal with, and I’d like to reassure everyone that reports of this nature will always be investigated fully and sensitively, regardless of the current or past profession of the parties involved.’
To report crime, call 101 or visit your local police force’s website.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111.