Paedophile plotting to meet toddler snared by undercover police

UNDERCOVER police posing as a babysitter in a paedophile chatroom snared a pervert hoping to meet and abuse a young child.

Thursday, 6th September 2018, 11:31 am
Updated Thursday, 6th September 2018, 11:37 am
Billy Joe Cooper

Portsmouth Crown Court heard crack cocaine addict Billy Cooper confessed to the police officer he had a sick sexual interest in children aged eight to 16.

Cooper, 36, he thought was talking with a 41-year-old woman with access to a girl aged three '“ but the woman was actually a covert operative from the South Eastern Regional Organised Crime Unit.

Now a judge, who was told Cooper had indecent images of children showing 'deliberate torture of a young child', has jailed the pervert for 44 months.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Billy Joe Cooper

Prosecutor Unyime Davies revealed how one sick message from Cooper said: 'I know it seems bad but I'm so desperate.'

The prosecutor added: 'He asked whether the [covert officer] had access to children.'

Writing in the private conversation area of the paedophile chatroom, Cooper, of Hunts Pond Road, Park Gate, detailed his own claimed experience with a young girl.

'He asked whether this undercover officer needed a hand while babysitting,' the prosecutor added.

Cooper later made plans with the fake babysitter to meet at Tesco in Guildford on July 18 - but backed out of the arrangement claiming he had been 'called into work'.

The next day he sent messages asking about the young girl and the officer went to meet him again '“ but Cooper claimed he had 'car trouble' and backed out.

Officers raided his home two days later and seized his phone and laptop, finding 441 indecent images of children '“ with 71 at the worst grade of category A. Six extreme pornographic images involving animal sex were also found.

Just seven days after his arrest and police interview Cooper took to the paedophile website again, sending more sick messages about children.

He later admitted attempting to arrange or facilitate the commission of a child sex offence, 24 charges of making and possessing indecent images, and publishing an obscene article.

Daniel Reilly, mitigating, said Cooper potentially has post-traumatic stress disorder from a brain injury he suffered nine years ago after being punched and hitting his head on a pillar on a night out.

Judge Robert Hill imposed a sexual harm prevention order limiting Cooper's internet use for life. Cooper must sign the sex offenders' register for life.