'Predator' jailed after travelling to Wiltshire to sexually abuse child

David Nye has been sentenced to three years in prison. Credit: Wiltshire Police

A 56-year-old man from Wells in Somerset has been sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to attempting to arrange a child sex offence.

David Nye was arrested following a joint investigation by the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU) and Wiltshire Police.

During the investigation in July last year, Nye communicated online and via email with someone he believed was the mother of a young girl.

He sent "highly disturbing and alarming" messages while discussing his sexual interests and then made arrangements to meet the woman’s child, with the intention of sexually abusing her.

There was never a real life victim and no children were ever in any danger.

Nye travelled to the meeting location on 29 July 2021 and was arrested by police and taken to Melksham Police Station.

He will be put on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

Det Con Jason Walsh, of Wiltshire Police's child internet exploitation team, said: “The messages exchanged between Nye and the ‘mother’ during the month-long interaction were highly disturbing and alarming.

“We were left beyond doubt that Nye posed a serious and dangerous risk to children and used the internet to find victims.

“As part of the child internet exploitation team, it is our duty to protect children and young people from the risk that predators like Nye pose and we will continue to work tirelessly to bring these people to justice and ensure the internet is not a safe place for them to pray on the vulnerable in our communities.

“We hope this sentence acts as a deterrent and highlights how serious this offence is.”

Detective Inspector David Wells from SW ROCU said: “If David Nye had met the young girl he intended to that day, then we know that child would have been subjected to horrific abuse.

“Thankfully, the work of our team, together with the investigation that followed by our colleagues at Wiltshire Police, meant no child was harmed and he has been prevented from carrying out his depraved plans.

“This is vital work, identifying offenders who use the internet to directly groom children, share indecent images of children, and, as in this case, attempt to arrange access to children to abuse. 

“Law enforcement agencies are across the internet determined to ensure they don’t succeed.  It is vital parents and children themselves take steps to protect against the threat.”

How to spot the signs of child abuse

The NSPCC website has clear and extensive advice for parents and carers, children and young people, and professionals.

If you are worried about something which has happened to your child online, report it to Child Exploitation and Online Protection command.

If you have concerns about your own use of the internet or inappropriate thoughts or behaviour about children, or you are worried about how someone you know behaves, then contact the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.