Man who travelled more than 272 miles from his home to Sunderland to meet a child for sex is convicted

A man who travelled from than 272 miles from his home is Great Yarmouth to Sunderland to meet a child for sex has been arrested, charged and convicted in the space of 24 hours.

Monday, 1st November 2021, 1:31 pm

Michael Stacey travelled to Wearside last Tuesday (October 26) to meet a 13-year-old girl that he had been chatting to online for sex.

What the 47-year-old didn’t know was that the girl was actually an officer based within the North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU).

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Michael Stacey travelled from his home in Great Yarmouth to Sunderland to meet what he believed was a 13-year-old girl.

Detectives from the Force’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) interviewed him and he was later charged.

Stacey appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, October 28 where he admitted arranging a child sex offence and engaging in sexual communication with a child.

He is due to be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court on November 25.

Speaking after the hearing Detective Sergeant Rob Smoult from POLIT said: “We will protect children in any way we can from dangerous men like Stacey.

“It is very clear what his intentions and motivations were and his deplorable actions speak for themselves.

“Stacey set out on a long journey across the country to meet a girl he knew was underage for his own sexual gratification and thank to thorough but swift investigation, he was put before the courts and convicted within 24 hours of attempting to meet a child.

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“These offences are incredibly serious and can destroy the lives of vulnerable victims and their families, as well as the families of those who are caught offending.

“We will continue to work with our partners at NERSOU to tackle online child abuse and sexual exploitation and would urge anyone who has been a victim of this type of offending, or has concerns about someone’s behaviour, to come forward and talk to us.

“This was another excellent example of swift and effective justice. I’d like to thank all our partners across the criminal justice system who helped to detain, charge and convict this criminal – all within 24 hours.”

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