Page last updated at 19:38 GMT, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 20:38 UK

Man guilty of internet grooming

A "predatory" paedophile is behind bars after he was convicted of trying to arrange a sex session with a man and his 14-year-old daughter.

Andrew Pitcher, 56, travelled to London to see the pair, who he had met on the internet, only to discover that they were really undercover police officers.

Pitcher, of West Park Avenue, Leeds, had a "huge" child porn collection, London's Southwark Crown Court heard.

A jury convicted him of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.

Computers seized

He will be sentenced for that offence on 11 September, as well as on 10 charges of making child porn, 10 of distributing it and two possession counts, all of which he pleaded guilty to.

The court heard Pitcher first contacted "Tony", the undercover officer posing as the girl's father, last October.

He sent some of his indecent images and explained how much he was looking forward to their get-together.

Later, he allegedly started "grooming" the 14-year-old online.

In February the curtain and blind maker then travelled to a south London tube station to meet the pair, but he was arrested by officers from the Met's Paedophile unit.

Thousands of images

The court heard that after his arrested Pitcher's home was searched and a number of computers were seized.

"Experts found one contained a huge number of indecent images of children," said Hannah Llewellyn-Waters, prosecuting.

The 76,000 images featured the "sexual abuse of very young children through to girls in their very early teens", some of which were in the most serious "level five" category.

He was remanded in custody until he is sentenced.




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