Undercover police officer snared paedophile using dating app Grindr

Between October 2018 and September 2019, Norfolk Constabulary staff received £4,257.99 worth of gift

Dane Lambert was sentenced to two years suspended jail sentence after being caught by undercover officer - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A paedophile was snared after sexually grooming a boy he thought was 14 on the dating app Grindr but who turned out to be an undercover police officer, a court heard.

Dane Lambert, 59, started chatting to the boy he thought was called Ethan, from Norwich, on Grindr and sent sexual images to him as well as having graphic sexual conversations, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Jude Durr, prosecuting, said Ethan was in fact an undercover police officer posing as a teenager, aged 14.

When Lambert was arrested on September 25, last year, he told officers: "I was silly. I just went along with it."

Mr Durr said Lambert also told them "I will lose everything now".

Lambert, of Rouen Road, Norwich, admitted attempting to incite a child aged 14 to engage in sexual activity from September 6 to September 25 last year and attempting to cause a child to watch a sex act.

Oliver Haswell, defending, said Lambert had shown immediate remorse from the moment he was arrested.

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He said Lambert had been working in Qatar but the Covid pandemic meant he had to return to the UK and he had not been able to work.

He said Lambert was in a low mood and felt isolated.

He said: "During that difficult time these offences took place."

He said Lambert had used Grindr before lawfully and there was no evidence that this was anything but a one-off.

"This was a one-off, a foolish idiotic thing," he said, adding that Lambert was engaging with all support he was offered.

Sentencing him, Recorder Guy Ayers imposed a two-year jail sentence suspended for two years.

He accepted that no actual acts had taken place and the conversation had been with an undercover officer and not a teenage boy.

Recorder Ayers added: "On arrest you were quick to accept the error of your ways."

He said Lambert had also sought assistance to make sure nothing like this happened again.

Recorder Ayers also imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and placed Lambert on the Sex Offender's Register for 10 years.

He was ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work.