A paedophile who told someone he believed to be a 13-year-old girl he was the ‘right person’ for her has walked free from court.

Nigel Lambert engaged in depraved sexualised chats with two ‘children’ – but in fact, the accounts were being operated by undercover police officers tasked with rooting out online sex offenders.

The 43-year-old, of Wellington Road, Preston, sent disgusting photos to the ‘young girls’ and told them he ‘needed kisses’, but he was able to leave court with a suspended sentence.

He appeared before Liverpool Crown Court to be sentenced on four counts of attempted sexual communications with a child and sole counts each of possessing indecent images of children, making indecent images of children and possessing extreme pornographic images involving animals

The court heard from prosecutor Christopher Taylor how three of the communications offences involve the same police officer.

Between February 10 and 22, 2022, the officer, under the guise of a 13-year-old girl called Zoe, chatted to the defendant, who was using the username Bunnies.

In messages exchanged on Kik Messenger, Lambert claimed to be a 36-year-old man living near Manchester, with ‘Zoe’ telling him she was only 13 after he asked if she would have sex with an older man.

The continued to chat on Kik, where the defendant asked the girl if she had a boyfriend, about her sexual activity and if she was a ‘good kisser’.

In one chat, when Zoe said she would have sex with the right person, Lambert replied: “I’m the right person.”

Another saw the defendant ask what she was doing, and when she said schoolwork, he replied that he ‘needed kisses’ and was playing with his penis, which he described as ‘big’.

Nigel Lambert leaving Liverpool Crown Court after being sentenced

Nigel Lambert leaving Liverpool Crown Court after being sentenced

He asked her if she wanted to engage in sexual activity and sent her sexualised photos and a video, before asking if she was ‘turned on’ by them.

The defendant sent a video of a man performing a sex act and claimed it was himself, then asked if she could send him something similar.

The fourth communication offence involved a different undercover police officer posing as Georgia, again a 13-year-old girl, on the platform Chatiw, and later on Snapchat.

Lambert asked the girl if she was ‘horny’ and sent her a photo of an erect penis.

He was arrested at his former home on Longdin Street in Latchford, Warrington, on December 8, 2022, and gave no comment to questions asked of him during his police interview.

His mobile phone was seized and examined, and a Samsung account linked to both the device and Lambert was found to contain two category B indecent images of children, as well as two extreme pornographic images involving animals.

On behalf of his client, Gerald Baxter, defending, spoke of how Lambert pleaded guilty to all offences and is a man of previous ‘good character’, with no prior convictions.

“He has expressed genuine remorse. He is also deeply ashamed and embarrassed about his behaviour. He is relieved no child was harmed,” Mr Baxter said.

The barrister also said that the defendant is in ‘good’ employment, which he may lose should he be sent to prison immediately, with the same going for his privately rented accommodation.

Liverpool Crown Court

Liverpool Crown Court

Before sentencing, judge Brian Cummings said: “These were attempt offences in the sense that the ‘child’ was very fortunately, including for you, not a child, but a police officer posing as a child.

“Fortunately for you, unbeknown to you but very importantly and critically in your case, the people you were communicating with were not actual children.

“If they had been, the outcome in this case would be very different.

“I cannot accept that you have shown remorse, as remorse means being sorry for what you have done, and it is clear from what you said to the Probation Service, you did not accept what you have done, and there seems to be a level of denial on your part.

“You said you do not have a sexual interest in children. That is simply unrealistic. Of course you do. That is why you committed these offences, and you must come to terms with that.”

However, having deemed the defendant to be a ‘realistic prospect of rehabilitation’, Judge Cummings concluded: “In my judgement, I am persuaded it is appropriate to suspend the sentence in your case.

“Intensive work with you, in my judgement, gives the public and children the best protection and the prospect of you being rehabilitated.”

Lambert, now of Wellington Road in Preston, was sentenced to 18 months in prison suspended for two years, including 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

He must also sign the sex offender register and abide by the terms of a sexual harm prevention order – both for 10 years – with an order approved to deprive him of his mobile phone.