Sheffield scientist, 33, who engaged in sex chat with youngsters online snared in crime agency sting

A bio-medical scientist from Sheffield has been jailed for three years for attempting to sexually abuse children online by engaging them in explicit conversations.

Paul Bower who was jailed for three years

Paul Bower, AKA ‘Paulguy10’, was identified as part of a covert National Crime Agency investigation targeting offenders who used the internet to forge a sexual relationship with children, then manipulated them into sending indecent images.

Evidence showed he entered into sexualised conversations with what he believed was two 13-year-old girls online, and then sent an explicit picture.

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However, Bower had in fact been talking to undercover NCA officers.

The 33-year-old, who worked at a local hospital, was arrested in October 2019 after investigators tracked him down.

Officers seized a number of digital devices from his home and discovered nearly 350 indecent images of children.

Bowers was charged with making indecent images of children, two counts of attempting to incite a female child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, and two counts of attempting to cause a child under 13 to look at an image of sexual activity.

He pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced this week at Sheffield Crown Court to three years in prison.

He was also made subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and placed on the Sex Offender register for life.

Neil Baxter, pperations manager at the NCA, said: “Sexual predators like Bower prey on vulnerable young children and abuse them for their own sick gratification.

“Offenders often hide behind online profiles in an attempt to mask their identities. As we have seen with this case, these people are not protected.

“Identifying and disrupting individuals with a sexual interest in children is an absolute priority for the NCA."