A 42-year-old man from Sheffield was jailed for more than six years on Monday 31 May, after admitting sexual offences relating to children.
Andrew Dalby from the Hemsworth area of Sheffield was arrested by officers from Hertfordshire Constabulary, following an operation to identify offenders targeting vulnerable children via chat rooms and social media.
Between 20 October 2022 and 10 December 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 subsequently 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 with him. He was charged and remanded to prison whilst the investigation continued.
An analysis of his phone and computer subsequently revealed further victims in Hull, Great Yarmouth, Birmingham and South Wales, who were spoken to by specialist COST officers.
Dalby was charged with ten offences:
The two original charges:
Attempt to engage in sexual comms with a child.
Arranging the commission of a child sex offence.
Plus eight additional charges:
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 26 May, 2023. He pleaded guilty to all ten charges.
On Monday 31st July Dalby appeared back at St Albans Crown Court for sentencing. He was and was given a custodial sentence of six years and nine months.
Detective Sergeant 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.”