AN “ingrained paedophile” who was ensnared by undercover police officers as he tried to set up a meeting with a 12-year-old girl has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Nicholas Jordan posted to an online chatroom where he spoke of his interests in sexual encounters with children,

He was tracked by undercover officers working for West Midlands Police’s Operation Atari probe into online sex offences.

Jordan, 47, of Goodwood Grove, Leeswood, near Mold, was arrested after he arranged to meet what he thought was a father and his stepdaughter, but their online profile was a fictional one created by investigating police officers.

Police found child porn images on laptops seized at his home as well as evidence he had searched for illegal sites.

Judge David Hale told Jordan: “You joined sites you knew would likely lead you to contact people with similar interests.

"And set against the background of your conviction in 2006, together with your web searches, it leads me to think you are an ingrained paedophile.

“It may be you are coming round to the view you need to stop your conduct and you need help, but that doesn’t stop you being an ingrained paedophile.”

Barrister Andrew Green, prosecuting, told Mold Crown Court that police had set up an online profile of a stepfather and his 12-year-old stepdaughter and posted it in a topic called 'UK incest' on an online forum.

The site was monitored and from January 2017 Jordan was spotted advertising on it saying that he was from North Wales saying that he was “looking to play with a family of all ages”.

The court heard that in one online conversation he was asked “what ages do you like” and replied “the younger the better, tots to grannies”.

Nearly two months later he posted to say he could arrange a meeting with the father and his stepdaughter and suggested a camp site near Mold.

A meeting was later set up at the Red Lion in Rhosesmor on June 1, but although the defendant’s car was spotted by police he drove off without entering the pub’s car park.

He was arrested the following day and laptops, tablets and phones were seized at his home on which there were 47 category C indecent images of children and 264 prohibited/cartoon images of child sex.

His internet history showed wiping software had been used to delete images and there was a Google map search made of the Mold pub.

“It isn’t the case the [police] officer was acting as an agent provocateur as he (Jordan) showed an active interest in sexual activity with children,” said Mr Green.

Jordan pleaded guilty to attempting to arrange a child sexual offence, making indecent images, possessing indecent images and possessing prohibited images.

Barrister David Birrell, defending, said Jordan had made no contact with any children, although he accepted he had an “unenviable” record with a 2006 conviction for similar offences.

“Indeed there were no children because it was fiction.

"It is a fact that the undercover officers initiated the contact.

"The online chat had gone quiet and two months later the officers contacted him again and posted 'Hi Nick, haven’t heard from you in ages',” said Mr Birrell, who asked the judge to consider alternatives to custody as he said Jordan wanted help to address what he recognised was a “real problem”.

“This man has not harmed children, although that was not for the want of trying," Mr Birrell said.

“He has asked for help in addressing these issues and that is a big step in the right direction.”

But Judge David Hale imposed a three-year sentence with a further two years on licence during which time he invited Jordan to take advantage of a sex offenders programme.

He also made Jordan the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years and ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £170.