A MAN who sent naked photos to what he thought was a teenage boy before trying to meet him has been jailed.

David Welsh, from Bishop Auckland, thought he was talking to a 14-year-old boy on a mobile social media app when he sent numerous naked images and videos.

Instead, he was chatting to undercover police officers, who arrested him after they arranged to meet Welsh in South Shields on May 23.

The 55-year-old, of Leeholme, was charged with attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and attempting to meet a boy under 16 following grooming.

Welsh was charged with a further six child sex offences following a complex investigation by Durham Police’s digital investigations unit.

Welsh pleaded guilty to all the charges and appeared at Durham Crown Court last month where he was jailed for five years.

Detective Constables Claire McElvaney and Jonathan Stoker, from Durham Police, who led the investigation, said: “Welsh has been deliberate and persistent in his efforts to meet up with children for a sexual purpose. He continued to offend while still under investigation preying on the vulnerable for his own perverted needs.

"He is quite rightly behind bars."

“The communities of County Durham and Darlington can be reassured that the protection of the most vulnerable is a real team effort where, in this case, Welsh has travelled some distance to try and meet a child but instead met a team of police officers.”