A man has been jailed after a court heard how he drove from his home in London to north Wales to have sex with a girl aged 13.
But it turned out the girl did not exist – and teenager he was grooming was in fact a police officer.
The sting by North Wales Police was described as “very professional and well organised” at Mold Crown Court, where James Shand was jailed for 21 months.
Shand – who had no previous convictions - was placed on the sex register for ten years and a ten year sexual harm prevention order was made to curb his future activities.
The court heard the defendant had booked a room at a hotel in Warrington and was on his way to pick up the girl at Rhyl when he was stopped and arrested by police on the A55.
The 30-year old of Southbrook Road, London, admitted a charge of attempting to meet up with a girl under 16 in order to commit a sexual offence.
When arrested he said “I’ve f.... up big time.”
Interviewed, he claimed he planned a day out and that while he had booked a double bed he said he did not intend any sexual contact.
When it was revealed the girl did not exist but that he had been messaging a police officer, he clapped his hands and said “well done.”