Man who tried to meet ‘teenage boy’ in South Shields jailed following police snare

A man who groomed what he thought was a teenage boy and arranged to meet up with him in South Shields has been jailed for five years.
David WelshDavid Welsh
David Welsh

Undercover police officers posed as a 14-year-old boy on a mobile social media app and began talking to 55-year-old David Welsh.

The conversation became sexual, with Welsh sending across numerous naked images and videos, despite being told a number of times that he was communicating with a 14-year-old child.

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Around two weeks later, on May 23, they arranged to meet in South Shields.

Butt instead of meeting the boy he thought he was grooming, Welsh was arrested by officers from the North East Regional Specialist Operations Unit (NERSOU).

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Welsh, of Leeholme, Bishop Auckland, was charged with attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and attempting to meet a boy under 16 following grooming.

Welsh was also charged with a further six child sex offences following a complex investigation by Durham Constabulary’s Digital Investigations Unit.

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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 Constabulary, led the investigation. They 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."

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