A PAEDOPHILE who sent penis pictures to a ‘teenage girl’ and attempted to meet her for sex has been jailed.

Darrell Tunbridge, 42, was caught sending messages to whom he thought was a 13-year-old girl called Daisy between December 10 and 14, 2020.

‘Daisy’ turned out to be an undercover police officer and Tunbridge was caught sending penis pictures to the account as well as encouraging ‘Daisy’ to send pictures of her genitals in return.

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A trial at Oxford Crown Court before Christmas also heard that Tunbridge had attempted to meet up with the ‘girl’ for penetrative sex, telling her he would help her to prevent pregnancy.

However, he never attended the meeting arranged and instead went for a meal with his wife.

Sentencing him to two years and three months imprisonment on Tuesday (January 16), Judge Ian Pringle said: “There is no doubt in my mind that you thought you were going to meet with a 13-year-old and you thought you were going to have penetrative sex with her.”

Defending Tunbridge, of Woodpecker Close, Bicester, his barrister Beatrice Graham said there was ‘striking’ mitigation in his case.

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She said: “This was a five-day period, very limited in terms of time and not only was there never any risk of harm as there was never a real 13-year-old girl, it was always an undercover officer, not only was that the case but Mr Tunbridge withdrew from this offence at a fairly early stage.

“He didn’t attend the meeting set up because he withdrew. There was nothing to suggest he realised this was an undercover officer. The evidence suggests that this was a man who resolved to go no further with what was planned.”

She added that he is of previous good character and a ‘hard-worker’ who takes his employment ‘very seriously’.

Despite Tunbridge not attending the meeting, Judge Pringle expressed concerns about Tunbridge’s alleged lack of remorse.

“He’s not really accepting his guilt in this matter,” he said. “It’s of concern to me that this isn’t someone who said, ‘I’m extremely sorry, I don’t know what came over me.’ He’s not really accepting that at all.”

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Ms Graham stated Tunbridge is ‘beginning’ to take responsibility but that ‘shame is no stranger in this type of offending’.

She urged His Honour to pass a sentence of two years or less but Judge Pringle stated he would be ‘failing in his duty’ if the sentence, with a starting point of five years, was reduced any further.

He was also made subject to a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.