July 2018

Married father tried to arrange a meeting with a 12-year-old girl for sex at a hotel

A married dad who tried to arrange a meeting with a 12-year-old girl for sex in a hotel after his wife got breast cancer has been jailed for two and a half years.

Manjit Singh, 40, did not realise ‘Daniella’ was a decoy profile on a social media site set up by a member of an online child protection organisation called ‘One Reason’ – which targets paedophiles.

Within 11 messages with the pretend youngster take-away worker Singh had turned the conversation to sex.

The 40-year-old, of Darlington, County Durham, then asked to swap numbers, and continued the conversation on the WhatsApp messaging service.

He suggested they went to a hotel, said he would pick the girl up in Darlington and that the pair should spend the night together.

Prosecutor Rachel Masters told Teesside Crown Court on July 4 that when he was turned down, Singh reacted ‘aggressively’ and ‘made comments about making her his slave’.

The paedophile hunters traced Singh to his home, and alerted police to what he had been up to between mid-April and the end of May.

He told officers his wife had been unwell and had joined a dating site for friendship and sex, said Miss Masters, and admitted he had chatted to three under-16s.

Jailing him for two-and-a-half years, Judge Howard Crowson told Singh: ‘This was not looking at a dating site. This was children as young as 12.

‘Your feeling that this is a crime without a victim shows you fail to appreciate you were trying very hard indeed to commit a serious crime. Grave harm was intended.’

Singh, who has been living in Birmingham since his arrest amid fears of attacks on the family home in Darlington by locals, admitted attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity, attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act and attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.