Paedophile who worked at Sheffield hospital caught in online sting
A pervert who worked at a Sheffield hospital has been jailed after he was snared by a sting operation involving undercover police officers posing online as young girls.
Paul Bower, aged 32, of Cundy Street, near Hillfoot, Sheffield, was snared during a National Crime Agency operation as he struck up sexual conversations on social media with undercover officers pretending to be two 12-year-old girls, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
Nicola Quinney, prosecuting, told the hearing on September 20: “The case itself arises from an online operation being run by undercover officers targeting people such as this defendant who was seeking to engage with children online.”
Ms Quinney added that Bower engaged with the decoys, Holly and Caitlin, from August, 2019, and sent them a fake image of himself.
The conversation with ‘Holly’ included that he liked school uniform and he sent indecent images and discussed sex acts, according to Ms Quinney.
Bower had hidden his personal Internet Protocol address but police tracked him down after he was identified as an NHS trust employee at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital, according to Ms Quinney.
The defendant admitted two counts of attempting to incite a child into sexual activity, two counts of attempting to communicate sexually with a child, and two counts of attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act.
Biomedical scientist Bower also admitted three counts of making indecent images of children after police recovered 12 category A images, 20 category B images and 311 category C images from his electronic devices, with category A being the most serious.
Sean Fritchley, defending, said married Bower had been going through a bad time when he was offending and his career has now come to an end but he is addressing his issues and has shown remorse.
Recorder David Gordon sentenced Bower to three years of custody and he has been added to the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely.
He was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
Those named on the Sex Offenders Register must abide by certain conditions aimed at reducing the risk of them reoffending.
They have to notify the authorities of their address each time they move to avoid them going to ground.
Conditions imposed relate to past offending as well as the risk of future reoffending.