Man charged with trying to meet teenage girl for sex in Crawley

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A man has been charged with trying to meet an underage teenage girl for sex in Crawley.

Sussex Police says Nigel McDermott, a builders merchant, of Hawks Ridge in Harnham, Wiltshire, appeared at Crawley Magistrates Court today (February 14), charged with engaging in sexual communication with a child.

The 52-year-old did not enter a plea and was released on conditional court bail, to appear at Lewes Crown Court on March 13, police said.

It is alleged he was in online contact with someone he thought was a 13-year-old girl, but who was in fact a police officer.

The prosecution, authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), follows an intelligence-led investigation by the Sussex Police Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT), working closely with the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU).

Communications devices were seized when officers arrested McDermott in a car park at Tilgate Park, Crawley, on Wednesday (February 12).

Enquiries have confirmed that no child was at risk, police said.