A registered sex offender from Birmingham has been jailed for four years after travelling to Luton with the intention of meeting a child to sexually abuse them.
Andrew Burnside, 46, from Holly Road, Handsworth, pleaded guilty to arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence and was sentenced on Friday (24 November) at Luton Crown Court.
He was issued with a seven-year extended sentence comprised of four years in jail and an additional three years on extended licence. He will also have to sign the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely.
Burnside, a registered sex offender following a conviction last year of making indecent images of children, for which he was given a three-year community order, communicated with people over the internet and made plans to travel to Luton with the intention of abusing a child and a baby.
Upon arrival in Luton, he was arrested and found in possession of children’s tights and a vibrating pen which had been adapted.
Investigation Officer Amanda Dickson, from Bedfordshire Police’s Internet Child Abuse Investigation Team, said: “Burnside was a clear threat to the public and has a history of sexual abuse.
“Although acknowledging that his behaviour was wrong, his actions were clear and he had to save money to make the trip to Luton, while lying to his partner about his plans.
“We have a dedicated team committed to apprehending criminals, like Burnside, who use the internet to facilitate the abuse of children, and the sentence he received echoes how seriously this kind of offence is treated.
“Online child sex abuse causes significant harm to the children involved and is likely to have a lasting impact on them. We continue to work hard to apprehend those who pose a risk to children through the internet and to root out anyone who intends to abuse children, before they can do so.”
Bedfordshire Police works closely with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation to help tackle and prevent child sexual abuse and recommends adults visit the Parents Protect website, which is run by the foundation, for lots of useful resources for parents to help prevent child sexual abuse. It also contains a list of organisations and resources focusing on keeping children safe in the digital world.
The NSPCC Share Aware website also contains advice and tips about how children can keep themselves safe online.
To report concerns about child sexual abuse, contact police on 101