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Sheffield sex offender posed as doctor to contact children online and arranged to meet in hotel | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

Andrew Dalby, from Sheffield, pictured, has been jailed for six years for a string of sex offences. Picture: Hertfordshire Police

A sex offender has been jailed for a string of crimes relating to children after posing as a Sheffield doctor.

Andrew Dalby was arrested by officers from Hertfordshire Constabulary, following an operation to identify offenders targeting vulnerable children online.

The 42-year-old from Sheffield was jailed for more than six years after admitting sexual offences relating to children, after an operation looking into offenders in chat rooms and on social media.

Between October 20, 2022, and December 10. 2022, officers from the Child Online Safeguarding Team (COST) monitored Dalby chatting to what he thought was a 14-year-old boy, whilst claiming to be a 30-year-old doctor working in the Sheffield area.

As the conversations progressed, Dalby offered to meet the ‘boy’ offering him a health check. The nature of the chat then became sexual with Dalby booking a hotel room in St Albans so they could spend the night together.

Dalby travelled to St Albans where he was arrested by officers at the hotel he had booked. A search of his car revealed he had brought items including condoms and medical equipment. He was charged and remanded to prison whilst the investigation continued.

Checks on his phone and computer revealed further victims in Hull, Great Yarmouth, Birmingham and South Wales, who were spoken to by specialist COST officers.

Dalby admitted 10 charges. They were attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child; arranging the commission of a child sex offence; three charges of causing a child to engage in sexual activity; four charges of sexual communication with a child; one charge of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Dalby was remanded to prison and appeared at St Albans Crown Court on May 26, 2023. He was jailed for six years, nine months.

Det Sgt Jim Miller from the COST team said: “This was a very successful operation which has removed a dangerous sexual predator off the streets.

“However, I am mindful that there could still be other victims that we are not aware of, and I am keen to hear from anyone who believes they may have been a victim of Andrew Dalby or who knows of anyone who may have been targeted by him. You will be fully supported by specially trained officers.”

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