A MAN has been jailed for attempting to engage in sexual activity with a child after being snared online by an undercover police officer.

Jordan James Caygill, of Newton Aycliffe, used a social media app to ask who he thought was a 14-year-old girl to meet up for sex.

After police officers turned up at his home in Merlin Court and arrested the 28-year-old they found hard drives and laptops containing violent sexual abuse videos involving "very young children."

Durham Crown Court heard on Wednesday that Caygill, who previously worked as a bartender in a sports club in Darlington, had a large collection of "utterly repellent" material that he had collected over a number of years.

Richard Bennett, prosecuting, said the defendant had more than 18 hours of extreme pornography on his computer involving very young children who were in "visible distress."

He engaged in "highly sexualised" conversation with the undercover officer posing as a teenager, offering to "take her virginity" and asking for sexual photos of her.

He also sent videos of himself masturbating to the officer as well as photos of his genitals.

The Northern Echo:

Caygill, who called himself "BigJ" and "Darloj92" on the app, pleaded guilty to nine charges in total, including three counts of making indecent images of children and one of distributing indecent images of children.

He also admitted possessing extreme pornographic images, attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity, attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act and two counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

Ian West, for Caygill, said his client was of previous good character and that the harm caused was 'minimal' as the defendant wasn't communicating with a child, but an undercover police officer.

HH Judge James Adkin told Caygill: "The investigation into your activity began by virtue of an interaction between yourself and an undercover officer purporting to be a 14-year-old child.

"Images were sent by yourself and you thought you were communicating with a 14-year-old girl. You requested pictures and offered to take her virginity. More specifically, the attempt to engage a child in sexual activity was incitement to engage in sexual intercourse.

"They [the images] are utterly repellent. The timescale is significant, from March 2016 to December 2019. It appears to me that this is a carefully curated collection of violent sexual abuse images.

"The attempts form part of a pattern of interactions with fictional children indicating the defendant had no compunction about engaging in highly sexualised behaviour with teenage girls."

Caygill was jailed for 34 months in total and made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order. He must also sign the sexual offenders register for life and he is forbidden from ever working with children.