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Newmarket man avoids jail after Ipswich Crown Court hears he tried to arrange meeting with 10-year-old girl

A Newmarket man who, a court was told, fantasised about watching a child undress has been given a suspended jail term.

Forty-four-year-old Edward Lucas, of Aureole Walk, was arrested after he had online chat room conversations with someone posing as the parent of a 10-year-old girl, Ipswich Crown Court heard on Monday. During the conversations Lucas said he might be willing to travel to London to meet the adult and child.

Peter Clark, prosecuting, said that Lucas also requested that the child shouldn’t be wearing underwear and that she might expose herself to him. Mr Clark said police had received information in April last year that Lucas had been in contact on social media with an adult posing as the parent of a 10-year-old girl.

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture by Mark Westley.
Ipswich Crown Court. Picture by Mark Westley.

When he was arrested, Lucas told police he had been an idiot and hadn’t intended to actually meet the child.

At a previous hearing he had admitted two offences of attempting to arrange the commission of a child sex offence. He was given a 15-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and a 50-day rehabilitation activity requirement. He was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for the same period.

In mitigation, Bruce Clark said that Lucas, who had no previous convictions, had no intention of meeting up with the person he had been communicating with.

Recorder Jeremy Benson told Lucas: “You had a chat on the internet with someone you believed to be the parent of a 10-year-old girl.” He said that during the chat Lucas said he wanted to meet in order for the girl to engage in sexual activity.

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