Before we start this article I would like to make a point of mentioning that there is a gentleman with the unfortunately similar sounding name of Robert Berrisford who also lives in Eccles, we feel it important to note that he has nothing to do with this case and is NOT the same person as detailed below. We can not stress how important it is to not confuse them both.
Robert Beresford, 45, of Matlock Street in Eccles, had thought he was going to meet a young schoolgirl close to the beach at Crosby, he was met by an adult male instead.
The witness, Mr Parry, had set up an online persona of an 11 year old using a photo of a friends daughter who had given him permission to use it as part of a sting operation to catch child sex predators.
Beresford made contact with Parry's alter ego 'Charlotte' via the Oasis dating app, although the app has a minimum age limit of 18 it is known to attract both people under that limit as well as those who seek to pray upon them.
It was not long before the account started to receive messages from a user profile on the platform calling itself 'Real Woman Seeker 2'. During conversations Mr Parry's Charlotte persona indicated to Beresford that she was an 11-year-old.
In reply, Mr Beresford told 'Charlotte' that he had previously had fantastic sex with a 12 year old he had dated. Later, during the course of conversation he enquired if the girl would like to meet to experience safe sex with him. Mr Parry acting as 'Charlotte' enquired as to what that was, to which Beresford replied by suggesting they meet up and he show her.
After agreeing to meet, it was indicated that he would identify himself by wearing a white cap so that Charlotte would be able to easily recognise him. Instead he was met on the 21st of July last year by Mr Parry who confronted him and detained him until police arrived, whereupon he handed over his chat logs and the wealth of evidence he had compiled.
After locating and searching Beresford's car which was found close-by, police discovered condoms and tissues.
His home in Eccles was raided shortly after and electronic devices were confiscated but no other evidence of contact with minors or indecent images of minors were found.
Beresford also denied having had sex with a 12 year old as he had claimed to Mr Parry's Charlotte persona. He told officers during police interviews that he had made it all up.
A psychological review suggested that Mr Beresford suffered from 'significant learning difficulties and a low IQ.
Beresford went on to plead guilty in court of arranging to meet the minor with intent to have sex with her.
Beresford was handed a 16 month sentence which was suspended for two years, he was also ordered to fulfil completion of 20 rehabilitation activity days.
He was further ordered to sign the sex offenders register for a total of 10 years as well as having a sexual harm prevention order imposed upon him. This prohibits unsupervised contact with girls over the internet by restricting his use.
Ms Williams said,
"He is a man who has accepted what he has done and pleaded guilty to this offence.
"At 45 years of age he has never been in trouble before and there is no evidence of any other illicit conversations an no evidence of interest in children sexually."