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Ipswich man, 78, tried to set up school holiday sex with '13-year-old' decoy

PUBLISHED: 14:43 02 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:02 02 May 2019

Ipswich Crown Court  Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

An Ipswich man has avoided going straight to jail for sending 'disgusting' photos to a police officer posing as a schoolgirl.

Christopher Yarker, 78, of Charlton Avenue, sent obscene photos of himself to an officer posing as a 13-year-old, Chloe, on an internet messaging app.

Police found extreme porn and indecent images of children on a mobile phone and storage device belonging to Yarker, who was handed an eight-month suspended jail term at Ipswich Crown Court.

Prosecutor Michael Crimp said the exchange took place over a two-month period in 2017.

Police seized his devices and found one file in the most severe category of indecency, another in the second most serious category and five in the lowest range.

Yarker admitted possessing the images and attempting to arrange sex with a child in February, after first suggesting the content had been sent without his knowledge.

Stephen Dyble, mitigating, agreed the offences warranted custody, but asked Judge Rupert Overbury to suspend the sentence.

Judge Overbury said Yarker's shame, and the likely disgust of his family, would be an additional punishment to the sentence he chose to suspend for 18 months.

“It makes no difference that it was an undercover officer. You sent photos and messages of a quite disgusting nature, and suggested meeting in the holidays to have intercourse,” he added.

“Fantasy or not, had it been a 13-year-old girl, the effect of such messages and photos are obvious.

“What you were suggesting were serious criminal offences.

“Maintaining a stance that the images were sent from another internet site was nonsense and I'm not prepared to give you maximum credit for your plea.

“I have no hesitation in concluding you committed these offences for sexual gratification.

“Whether as part of a fantasy, it matters not.

“You have now recognised the impact of your behaviour and express genuine remorse.

“You are extremely fortunate your family remains supportive, which is a credit to them.

“I'm satisfied that, despite your age, only custody is merited. However, I don't believe it to be in the public interest to pass an immediate sentence. Had there been more images, the balance may have tipped against you.”

Yarker must also attend 60 rehabilitation sessions and will be subject to court order restricting his computer use for 10 years.

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