Billingshurst man who tried to arrange child abuse online is snared by undercover agents

Robert Daykin was sentenced this morning
Robert Daykin was sentenced this morning

A Billingshurst man spent five months making ‘shameful’ advances towards two young girls online, before finding out that he had been snared by undercover agents.

Operating under chatroom usernames like ‘older for younger’, 72-year-old Robert Daykin tried to get the girls to do things like moan over Skype, a court heard.

He appeared at Lewes Crown Court today

He appeared at Lewes Crown Court today

The former businessman was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court today for the online chat, as well as possession of indecent images.

Prosecutor Piers Reed told the court how Daykin, of High Street, Billingshurst, unknowingly started talking to the undercover agents in a chatroom.

He said: “An undercover law enforcement team were posing as a father and either his niece, 12-year-old daughter or both.

“The conversations involved the defendant making reference to the use of sexual toys.

He claimed that all of the chat was fantasy

Prosecutor Piers Reed

“In particular the defendant requests to the daughter – who is effectively an undercover police officer – [to be] moaning whilst her father performs oral sex on her.”

Daykin was identified through his computer’s IP address and a warrant for his arrest was issued on May 4, last year.

He was arrested and police carried out interviews.

Mr Reed said: “He claimed that all of the chat was fantasy and that he did not remember making the comments.”

His laptop and mobile phone were seized and a number of indecent images of children were found.

Defence barrister Kathy Ryan admitted that Daykin’s crimes were ‘the most shameful of offences’.

However she added: “He has been all his life a hard worker and provided for his family.

“He has been a good father, a good husband.

“In a number of ways Mr Daykin has already been punished more severely than the court has the power to do.”

Since his offences have come to light, Daykin’s son has cut ties with him, she said.

She added: “He knows that this is a relationship that many never be repaired.”

Ms Ryan asked that Daykin be given credit for his early guilty plea, the comparatively small number of images and for the efforts he has made to seek help from charities like the Lucy Faithful Foundation.

Sentencing Daykin, Recorder Sarah Elliot QC said: “You pleaded guilty to possessing a small quantity of indecent images of children, but the more serious offence [is] of attempting to arrange or facilitate the commission of child sexual abuse.

“Your counsel was quite right to describe these offences as the most shameful offences.”

He had pleaded guilty to all four charges: three of possessing indecent images of children and one of attempting to arrange or facilitate the commission of child sexual abuse.

She told Daykin that he was of previously good character but added: “You have lost the good character in dreadful and shameful circumstances.”

He was given a one year prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Daykin will be subject to the sex offenders notification requirement for 10 years and is subject to a sexual harm prevention order.