October 2018

Explosive expert caught messaging ’13-year-old girl’ from popular hotel

AN explosive expert working for the Ministry of Defence sent sexually-charged messages to an undercover officer posing as a 13-year-old girl.

Albert Jones, 51, believed he was talking to a teenager, asking the “girl” to sent “naughty pictures” of herself and sending explicit pictures of his own.

As part of his role working for an explosive clearance group, Jones travelled across the south east of England.

While staying at a range of different hotels, the pervert decided to try to engage children in sickening conversations.

He used MyLOL, a teenage dating and social media website, as his tool to strike up the relationships.

Ipswich Crown Court heard he had several conversations with undercover police officers via the website from July 2017 up until February this year.

Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, said Jones would regularly ask the “teenagers” whether they would like to go to the cinema with him.

He said: “He revealed to police he was 47 years of age, the undercover officer posing as a girl replied ‘Did he think she was too young at 13?’

“The defendant replied ‘He didn’t mind.’”

When officers eventually obtained his mobile phone number, they were able to track down Jones’s car and catch him through the use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition.

Jones admitted three counts of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and a single count of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

The court heard he took part in sexually-charged conversations while staying at hotels in Dorset and Marks Tey.

Paul Donegan, mitigating, said although Jones was arrested in Colchester in May, police were aware of his offending for a lengthy period of time without taking action.

He added Jones had struggled with his mental health since 2012.

“He used his own profile picture when setting up a profile on the website,” he said.

“At the time he was with the Ministry of Defence, working for an explosive clearance group searching for devices, that work took him to various areas around the south east.

“The offences were committed in areas which have a military connection, such as Dorset and Colchester.

“Having had a period of reflection he may feel this was some sort of warped cry for assistance.

“He knew his mental health was suffering and he has committed these offences without making any real attempt to hide his identity.”

Judge John Devaux sentenced Jones, of West Byfleet, Surrey, to two and a half years in prison.