Northampton man sentenced for child sex offences

Mark Kirby, from Thirlestane Crescent, Far Cotton
Mark Kirby, from Thirlestane Crescent, Far Cotton

A 50-year-old Northampton man has been jailed for a string of online child sex offences.

Mark Kirby, from Thirlestane Crescent, Far Cotton, was sentenced to a total of three years and four months, after pleading guilty to one count of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

He also admitted three counts of causing or inciting a girl aged between 13 and 15 to engage in sexual activity and two of engaging in sexual communication with a child.

Sentencing Kirby, Judge Adrienne Lucking QC told Northampton Crown Court: "This is a clear example of the dangers people like you bring to the internet.

"You were persistent and determined in your efforts to establish a sexual relationship with children online."

Judge Lucking also made him the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 15 years and placed him on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely.

PC Chris Barker-Bowles, who led the investigation leading to Kirby’s conviction, said: “Kirby preyed on children in the most sickening way and for his own sexual gratification.

"I’m happy with today’s court result which follows a long and complex investigation.

“If people choose to engage in this appalling way they can expect our specialist police officers to be detecting and tracking their activity.

"We will bring to justice anybody who exploits children in this way.”

Kirby will serve 20 months of his sentence before being freed on licence.

An NSPCC spokeswoman said: “Kirby went to great lengths to commit horrifying abuse against children and his actions are a stark reminder of the risks associated with the internet.

“It’s far too easy for predators to contact young people online – often with devastating effects - and it’s important that parents discuss the dangers with their children.

“The government has a crucial part to play and its recent commitment to legislate to protect children online is a huge step forward and a victory for the NSPCC’s Wild West Web campaign.”