A coffee shop manager has been given a four-and-a-half year prison sentence for trying to meet an 11-year-old girl for sex in Crawley.
Kevin Baldock, 47, a catering manager, of The Drive, Hove, was sentenced at Hove Crown Court on Tuesday (February 20), having pleaded guilty to two offences of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.
A charge of grooming was left to lie on the court file.
He will be a registered sex offender indefinitely and was also given a ten-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO), severely restricting his access to children and computers.
Baldock was arrested in Crawley on Monday December 18 by detectives from the Sussex Police Paedophile OnLine Investigation Unit (POLIT).
His home and the cafe where he worked in George Street, Hove, were searched.
Detective Constable Martin Harmer said; “Baldock was engaging in sexualised chat online with someone he thought was an 11-year-old girl, with the intention of meeting for sex. In fact he was in contact with an undercover police officer.
“When he made an arrangement to meet her in Crawley town centre on that Monday morning it was with the clear intention of finding a hotel room and engaging in sex with her. But when he arrived by train we arrested him at Crawley railway station.”