Man jailed for grooming girls online

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A man from Queensbury has been jailed for a number of sexual offences involving teenage girls, following a proactive policing operation by Cumbria Constabulary.

Andrew Garth, aged 60, of Hainsworth Moor Drive, Queensbury, was sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court to two years and eight months in prison.

Garth will also be subject to an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order, which will restrict his use of the internet once he is released from prison.

On May 14 2014, Garth was arrested by officers from Cumbria Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit.

This was after he arranged to meet what he thought was a 14-year-old girl in Whitehaven, following explicit sexual conversations on a dating website.

This 14-year-old was actually an undercover police officer.

He was charged with an adult attempting to meet a girl under 16 following grooming, and two counts of attempting to cause/incite a girl 13-15 to engage in sexual activity.

Following his arrest an extensive investigation was undertaken in relation to Garth.

This investigation revealed that he had been speaking to teenage girls aged 13 – 15 years old on social networking site Badoo between 2012 and 2014.

He pleaded guilty 17 counts of attempting to cause/incite a girl 13-15 to engage in sexual activity.

Detective Superintendent Rob O’Connor said following the sentencing: “We arrested Garth following a proactive operation. This operation resulted in further enquiries which revealed that Garth had engaged in a number of highly sexualised conversations with teenage girls.

“We undertake these operations to protect young people who use the internet and social media. I hope that Garth’s arrest and sentence acts as a deterrent to those who try to use the internet to engage in illegal sexual activity – we are watching, and we will take action.”