Paedophile jailed after driving 272 miles to meet girl, 13

Michael Stacey, from Great Yarmouth, travelled 272 miles to meet a 13-year-old girl he had been talk

Michael Stacey, of York Road, Great Yarmouth, has been jailed after arranging to meet a girl aged 13, who was in fact a police decoy. - Credit: Northumbria Police

A man from Great Yarmouth who travelled more than 272 miles to meet a child for sex has been jailed - after it turned out he had been talking to an undercover police officer.

Michael Stacey, of York Road, Yarmouth, made the trip to Sunderland on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, to meet a 13-year-old girl he had been talking to online. 

The girl was in fact an undercover police officer based within the North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU) who immediately contacted detectives from Northumbria Police.

The following day, Stacey, who is 48, headed to the meeting point he had arranged with the teenager, but was intercepted by officers from Northumbria Police who arrested him and took him into custody.

He was arrested, charged, and convicted – all within 24 hours.

On Monday, June 20, he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court where he was jailed for four years and eight months, with a further four years on licence.

Stacey had admitted arranging a child sex offence and engaging in sexual communication with a child.

As previously reported Detective Sergeant Rob Smoult, from Northumbria's Paedophile Online Investigation Team, said: “We will protect children in any way we can from dangerous men like Stacey.

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“It is very clear what his intentions and motivations were and his deplorable actions speak for themselves.

"Stacey set out on a long journey across the country to meet a girl he knew was underage for his own sexual gratification and thanks to thorough but swift investigation, he was put before the courts and convicted within 24 hours of attempting to meet a child.

“These offences are incredibly serious and can destroy the lives of vulnerable victims and their families, as well as the families of those who are caught offending.

“We will continue to work with our partners at NERSOU to tackle online child abuse and sexual exploitation and would urge anyone who has been a victim of this type of offending, or has concerns about someone’s behaviour, to come forward and talk to us.”

Anyone who needs to speak to officers can call Norfolk Police on 101.