Paedophile council worker caught in undercover police sting

A pervert making sexually suggestive comments online to ‘Toby’, a boy he believed to be 14, was in fact being entrapped by an undercover police officer.

Council worker Jason Edwards, aged 38, of Queensway, Garnlydan, Ebbw Vale, was handed a suspended jail term after he was duped by the sting operation.

Cardiff Crown Court heard the defendant was using the controversial Canadian Kik chat app to contact ‘Toby’ while pretending to be a 16-year-old boy.

Nigel Fryer, prosecuting, said: “It is a popular platform used by paedophiles to discuss child abuse and share images of children.”

The undercover police officer, known only as ‘Kev’, was using Kik to pose as a 14-year-old boy from Hampshire, Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke was told.

The prosecutor said Gwent Police officers raided the home Edwards shared with his parents on June 4.

Mr Fryer said after he was arrested, Edwards told detectives he couldn’t remember sending an explicit photograph to ‘Toby’ and told them, “he was off his head on cocaine” at the time.

The defendant told them he was in a relationship with a woman.

He pleaded guilty to attempting to cause a boy to engage in sexual activity and attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

Mr Fryer said the defendant had no previous convictions and only had one caution for resisting or obstructing a constable.

Edwards, who was representing himself, said in mitigation: “I want to say sorry to my mam and dad and my family.

“I feel ashamed, embarrassed and disgusted with myself. I promise I won’t do it again.”

Judge Lloyd-Clarke told the defendant he was “at a low risk of reoffending and was a man of previous good character”.

He was jailed for six months, suspended for two years and ordered to observe a three-month curfew, between 8pm and 6am.

Edwards must also carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, a 35-day rehabilitation activity requirement and to attend 27 sessions of the Horizon sex offender treatment programme.

The defendant must register a sex offender for seven years and was handed a sexual harm prevention order for the same period.

Edwards must pay a £115 victim surcharge.