A convicted paedophile was sent to prison for more than six years at Northampton Crown Court over a whopping 13 offences of possessing child pornography and attempting to illicit children for sex, among other crimes.
Matthew Swift, 36, formerly of Marriotts Close, Felmersham, Bedford, was caught by police after he contacted several of their undercover accounts posing as children. One as young as 12.
Swift had then encouraged the 'children' to perform sex acts and groomed them into wanting to meet him.
The predator had already been caught once before in 2018, when paedophile hunter group 'Justice for the Innocent' posed as a 13-year-old in a similar manner. They then used public records to track down Swift's home address and cornered him before bringing in police.
The prosecuting barrister read: "The defendant contacted their decoy saying 'hey there, you look cute'. The decoy then responded back that she was only twelve years old. The defendant responded that he 'wished he could be 12 again'.
"The chat then turned sexual, where the defendant instructed the decoy to touch herself and perform other acts. These chats went on for several days."
The result was a conviction for attempting to illicit penetrative sex with a 13-year-old and the imposition of a 'prevention of sexual harm order', which restrained Swift in several ways, including to the use of a single phone that he had to register with authorities.
But this did not dissuade the child predator, who soon began again.
The paedophile was later found to have an identical make and model phone to the one he had registered with authorities, containing hundreds of indecent images of children, including videos.
The prosecutor added: "The fact that phone was exactly the same make and model was potentially a way of disguising his usage.
"It was clearly being used by him and there was evidence that content had been transferred between the two devices, including the saved phone number of 'Rachel'."
Rachel was another undercover police officer who posed as an equally depraved mother who was abusing an 11-year-old daughter with what Swift termed 'special hugs'.
The two went on to discuss their 'shared' proclivities and fantasies regarding children.
A female officer playing the role of Rachel then met with the predator at a services and recorded the interaction.
Essentially, Swift began conspiring with the 'mother' to find a time and place to abuse her 'daughter'. Suggestions included taking the girl to McDonalds or a park beforehand to make her feel comfortable, before posing as a family to get into a hotel together.
The prosecution continued: "The conversation lasted for 28 minutes. They discussed things that 'she couldn't do but that a guy could do'. 'Rachel' said she wanted to watch and he asked what he could do with her daughter and how far he could go."
Once Swift stepped away past that point, officers arrested the predator, later finding condoms, zip ties and toilet roll inside his car, as well as another unregistered phone containing even more child pornography. Officers also found more condoms on his person as well as Viagra.
Swift denied having any sexual interest in children and said the condoms were for use with his former wife, which he said he had kept 'in case he got lucky'.
In total, Matthew Swift was charged with seven counts of making indecent images of a child, an attempt to incite a girl under 13 to engage in penetrative sexual activity, an attempt to engage in sexual communication with a child, an attempt to incite a girl under 13 to engage in non-penetrative sexual activity and a breach of the Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
In passing the sentence, His Honour Judge Mooncey, presiding, said: "I observe that this is a very worrying case indeed.
"His actions cause me concern and although the Defendant suggests that he may have regret for doing some of them that does not reduce my concern.
"His actions are totally and completely unacceptable and he has behaved in in a manner that needs to be addressed."
Matthew Swift was sentenced to 73 months imprisonment.