A CASINO boss from Durham who thought he was chatting to a 13-year-old girl on the internet and tried to encourage her to have sex with him was caught out in an undercover police operation.
Keith Fagan, 56, of Devonshire Road, Belmont, was jailed for three years after he admitted six counts of attempting to incite under 16-year-old girls to engage in sexual activity.
Calling himself “Keith, 49, from Durham”, Fagan used chatrooms to try to encourage under-age girls to carry out sex acts while he watched online.
An undercover police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl visited the chatroom in February and Fagan immediately made contact.
Over the following weeks, he frequently sent her sexualised messages despite believing she was only 13, Durham Crown Court heard. He performed sex acts for her to see over his webcam, the court heard.
Sarah Mallet, prosecuting, said Fagan sent the officer who was posing as a girl links to pornography and in another message said “Love to meet up and introduce you to the joys of sex”.
In March, while he was still chatting to the undercover officer, uniformed colleagues arrived at Fagan’s house, where he was in his dressing gown, and arrested him.
“He had been online for two hours without a break,” Miss Mallet said.
Officers discovered he had previously been in contact with two others chatroom users who claimed to be girls aged 13 and 15, and had engaged in sexual conversations with them.
Joe Hedworth, defending, said: “He accepts full responsibility for his offending and is deeply ashamed about his actions.”
His barrister said while the offending was unpleasant, there had been no direct, physical contact with anyone.
“This has been a catastrophic fall from grace for Keith Fagan,” he said.
“He has lost his job he was extremely proud of having and which provided him and his family with a decent standard of living.”
Recorder Tahir Khan made a sexual offences prevention order and jailed him for three years.
The judge said: “There is clear evidence these offences did not occur on the spur of the moment and you must have thought long and hard about what you were going to do.