Man planned to travel to meet ‘9-year-old boy’ for sex

A 59-year-old man planned to travel to Cheshire to have sex with a nine-year-old boy, a court heard.

Ian Watson, 56, of Churchfields in St Helens, started speaking to another adult online to make arrangements to meet a nine-year-old boy in Cheshire with the intention of engaging in sexual activity.

But Watson didn't know that he had actually been speaking to officers from North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (NWROCU).

On March 30, 2020 he was arrested at his home address and appeared in Liverpool Crown Court on Friday, January 28 charged with child sexual offences.

A judge sentenced him to five years in prison after he was found guilty of arranging and facilitating the commission of a child sexual offence.

Detective Inspector Andy Buckthorpe of NWROCU said: “Ian Watson was a significant risk to children and we’re extremely glad that our investigation has stopped him from being able to act on his abusive intentions.

“Here at the NWROCU we’re committed to protecting children from sexual exploitation. Law enforcement operates across the internet and we're committed to ensuring those who use this means of communicating with those believe to be children to arrange sexual abuse are brought before the courts to face justice."

“I would urge anyone who has been a victim of child abuse, or thinks a child is being abused, to contact police immediately on 101, where a report can be made in confidence.”

Detective Sergeant Rob Deponeo, from Merseyside Police said: “Offenders often think that the internet will offer them complete anonymity to commit offences, but, as today’s sentence shows that this is not the case.

“Merseyside Police has specialist officers working tirelessly in partnership with other agencies such as the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit to identify offenders, no matter where they live or what devices they use.

"A huge amount of work is done by law enforcement agencies throughout the world to identify offenders, infiltrate their networks and uncover the evidence we need to put them behind bars and ensure that suitable safeguarding measures are put in place.

“We work with other UK forces, agencies and CEOP (the Child Exploitation Online Protection centre), as well as agencies in other countries who share our desire and determination to protect children from depraved and dangerous offenders such as Watson.

"We will use every tactic and technological advancement available to ensure people cannot and do not get away with the terrible crimes they have committed.”

If you have concerns about someone’s online behavior, contact Merseyside Police either by DM @MerPolCC, or by calling 101. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. If you suspect that the life of a child or adult is in immediate danger or a crime is ongoing dial 999.

The Lucy Faithfull Foundation is the only UK-wide child protection charity dedicated solely to preventing child sexual abuse, and works with families that have been affected by sexual abuse.

You can contact them through their confidential and Freephone Stop it Now! Helpline on 0808 1000 900 or email – and more information is available at