A MAN aged 62 has been jailed for four years after travelling to meet what he believed was the mother of two young children to commit depraved sexual acts on the little girls.

Hugh Galashan had in reality been in communication with an undercover police officer pretending to have daughters aged four months and four years, Bradford Crown Court heard today.

He chatted on the internet to law enforcement officer “Louise” and they discussed sexually abusing her children together.

Galashan, of Fallowfield Gardens, Bierley, Bradford, travelled to Sheffield with the intention of committing the sexual acts, Judge Jonathan Gibson said.

The court heard that on May 19 he went by car to meet the undercover officer in a café and he was arrested when he was walking to what he believed was her home.

Galashan had a bag of Maltesers with him for the older child and a bottle of red wine.

He went on to deny 13 charges of arranging the commission of child sexual offences but he was convicted of all of them by a jury at Bradford Crown Court in September.

The case was adjourned for a probation report to assess the risk he poses to young children in the future.

Prosecutor David McGonigal told the court today that Galashan had a previous conviction for possession of an indecent image of a child dating from 2005.

Indecent images of a girl aged between four and six were found on his laptop when he was arrested by the police in May this year.

Matthew Harding said in mitigation that Galashan, who was now retired, had served his country in the Army and done charity work.

Although “the author of his own misfortunes” the immediate prison sentence he was receiving would be his first taste of custody and have a significant impact on him.

Although there were 13 counts, it was “a single instance of offending” and the mother and children were fictitious.

Judge Gibson said that although the children did not exist, Galashan had intended to carry out the sexual abuse.

“You went a significant way along the road to meeting them and were apprehended at the last minute,” he said.

He made a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for an indefinite period banning Galashan from accessing the dark web. His computer will be fitted with police monitoring software and he must not have any unsupervised contact with children unless their parent or guardian is aware of his convictions.

He must also sign on the sex offender register indefinitely.

After the sentencing hearing, PC Adam Flaxington, the officer in the case, said: “This was a particularly distressing case where Galashan brought with him sweets as gifts for the children as well as sexual items to facilitate the abuse of two children, the youngest of which he believed was only four months old.

“The extensive and strong collaboration between officers from our Online Investigation Team and the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit (YHROCU) ensured Galashan was brought to justice.”

Detective Inspector Marie Bulmer, from YHROCU, said: “This forms part of our continued priority to protect children from sexual exploitation from those who seek to do them harm. Law Enforcement operates across the internet and we will relentlessly seek to bring to justice individuals who use the web to facilitate the abuse of children.

“Reports of child sexual abuse should be made to your local police force via 101. All reports will be followed up, no matter when they occurred.

“Victims can talk in confidence to experienced Investigators and we can also help them access a range of other support services.”

“Anyone with concerns about internet use or behaviour towards children is also encour-aged to seek advice and support.”