A man has been jailed after engaging in sexually explicit chat and then attempting to meet up with a 13-year-old girl.

Bartosz Zaczek, 23, of St Albans Road, St Annes, instigated the chat online in May 2022.

He believed he was talking with a 13-year-old, but it was actually an undercover police officer.

Over a period of just over a month he sent sexually explicit messages, including images, to the ‘girl’.

He also suggested they meet up and over the course of the chat he encouraged her to enlist another girl – a fictional 12-year-old cousin – to meet up with him too.

On June 28 he told his boss he was going to run an errand, but instead travelled to Blackburn to meet up with the person he had been speaking with online.

He was met at the location by officers and arrested.

In October 2022 he pleaded guilty to arranging/facilitating the commission of a child sex offence, attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity, two counts of attempting to cause a child to look at an image of sexual activity and attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.

He appeared at Preston Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday, January 25) where he was sentenced to four years and two months in prison.

He has also been given a 10 year Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and has been told he must sign the sex offenders register indefinitely. An order has also been made for his phone to be destroyed.

DC Nicola Long, of the Lancashire Police Online Child Abuse Investigation Team, said: “Zaczek is a sexual predator, who is now behind bars where he belongs.

“For a period of a month last year he instigated a number of sexually explicit conversations online with someone he believed was just 13, eventually arranging to meet up with her to engage in sexual activity.

"He also brought up the possibility of meeting up with her 12-year-old cousin for the same purpose.

“The chat transcript makes for some distressing and disturbing reading so I am satisfied with the sentence Zaczek has been given, which reflects the danger he presents to teenage girls.

"The associated court orders also mean he will be monitored by the authorities after he has been released from prison.

“The public may not see the undercover work that goes on, but it is always going on, and we will not hesitate to prosecute those found posing a danger to our communities.

“If anybody has concerns about an individual, I would always encourage them to contact the police in the first instance.

"We will thoroughly investigate those concerns and gather the evidence to put anybody who seeks to abuse children before the courts.”

You can report concerns online at https://doitonline.lancashire.police.uk/ or by calling 101.