A PAEDOPHILE trucker who thought he was meeting a schoolgirl for sex in Middlesbrough has been jailed after being snared by undercover police.

In June last year lorry driver Kevin Pybus, 62, began engaging in explicit online chats with an undercover police officer whom he thought was a 13-year-old schoolgirl.

Teesside Crown Court heard today that Pybus sent a series of extreme graphic messages under the username ‘Trucker Kev’ detailing which sexual acts he would like to carry out with the ‘schoolgirl’ in his truck. He also sent indecent images.

In July, Pybus arranged to meet the ‘girl’ at Cannon Park and a truck car park near Aldi in Middlesbrough where police were waiting to arrest him.

They found a sealed condom and seized two mobile phones from the truck.

Prosecutor Aisha Wadoodi said that when the devices were examined, it became clear that Pybus was sharing indecent images with other paedophiles.

He had more than 1,800 images across three categories of severity, including youngsters aged between six and ten being abused by men, and some sexual abuse involving animals.

The Northern Echo:

Kevin Pybus sent pictures of his lorry to an undercover officer he thought was a 13-year-old girl

Pybus made no comment in his police interviews and was released under investigation, only to be contacted online in August this year by the same undercover officer.

After establishing a rapport with the officer – which included Pybus sharing an indecent video with him – the paedophile detailed his sexual preference for young girls, saying that he would have sex with girls aged up to 15 and as young as eight or nine.

In September Pybus was arrested again – this time at his home in Croft Avenue, Wakefield – and a tussle ensued when officers tried to take his phone.

They realised he had been resisting because at the time he was using him phone to chat on the same online forum he had used to communicate with the undercover officer.

Although he made no comments in his police interview, Pybus pleaded guilty in court ten charges in connection with grooming a young girl for sexual activity, the distribution of child sex abuse images and making indecent images of children.

Mitigating, Victoria Lamballe said Pybus had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and that he has lost his job, his home and his partner of 20-years following his arrest.

Pybus, who was appearing via a video link, kept his head bowed throughout the proceedings and Ms Lamballe said: “It is clear that he is visibly ashamed that he finds himself in the position that he does.”

Addressing Pybus, Judge Deborah Sherwin said it was ‘unforgivable’ to possesses child sex images because each one represented a genuine child who had been abused.

She said: “These offences are so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence can be justified.”

She ordered Pybus serve a total of four years and eight months in prison.

Judge Sherwin also agreed to a submission that the undercover officer involved in the police operations should receive a Judge’s Commendation.

She said in general she was cautious to bestow them, but the officer had dealt with some ‘difficult matters’ and went over and above what is expected.

The Northern Echo:

The inside of Kevin Pybus's truck

Speaking after the sentencing outside Teesside Crown Court,Temporary Detective Inspector Alan Turner, from the North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU), said: “Pybus was purposely communicating on line with the clear intention of gaining access to young children for his own sexual gratification.

“He is clearly a dangerous predator and children are now much safer with him behind bars.

“Let this be a warning to others who are involved in the sexual exploitation and abuse of children. “Cleveland Police and their partner agencies are dedicated to the protection of children and offenders will be identified and prosecuted for your actions."