January 2018

Shenley paedophile caught in police trap in Leicester

A man who thought he had arranged to meet and sexually assault two children has been jailed for four years.

St Albans Crown Court heard John O’Shea, 51, of Pippin Close, Shenley near Watford, travelled to Leicester after speaking to the children’s “mother”, Emma, on social media.

However, Emma was an undercover officer – and the children did not exist.

The court heard he thought they were an 11-year-old girl and her eight-year-old brother.

O’Shea’s intention, the court heard, was to rape and abuse the children, which he explained in a series of graphic and explicit texts.

He was arrested on 16 November at a fast food restaurant on Leicester’s Meridian retail park – after making the 85-mile journey from Hertfordshire.

Detectives found more than 80 indecent images and movies of children on his phone – 10 of which were rated at the most serious level.

O’Shea admitted two offences of arranging to meet a child under 13 for the commission of a child sex offence and three charges of making or downloading indecent images of children.

Satya Chotalia, prosecuting counsel, said: “Within the messages he said he wanted to have sexual activity with both children. He said he knew it was wrong and illegal.”

The jury heard that he set out what he wanted to happen in texts sent over the course of more than a week.

Defence counsel Andel Singh said O’Shea had lost his job and his partner of 30 years.

O’Shea was also told he must abide by the terms of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order – and register as a sex offender indefinitely.