May 2018

Paedophile travelled 130 miles to Cambridgeshire to meet a 10-year-old girl for sex

A paedophile has been jailed for eight years after travelling about 130 miles to Cambridgeshire in a bid to meet a child for sex.

Michael Bickerton, of Minshall Street in Stoke-on-Trent, came to police attention after using a website to chat to people, specifying on his profile that he liked ‘children from the age of eight years’.

After initially engaging in conversation over email, the 49-year-old swapped phone numbers with someone he had met on the site, and made plans to travel to St Neots with the intention of abusing a 10-year-old girl in August last year (2017).

At just gone midday on August 26, Bickerton arrived at the agreed place but was quickly arrested and was found to have sex-related paraphernalia in his car.

The following day he was charged with arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence.

Bickerton denied the allegation against him and faced trial in February, however a jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict after just two hours of deliberation.

Yesterday afternoon (Monday, May 14), he appeared at Cambridge Crown Court and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

He was also made subject of an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

Sentencing, Judge Sean Enright said that Bickerton had an entrenched sexual interest in children, which was reflected in his sentence.