A 71-year-old man has been sentenced to six years and eight months in prison after arranging to rape a 12-week-old baby.
Mark Whalley, from Manchester, was arrested in the foyer of a hotel in the city centre, where he had planned to carry out the abuse.
He was arrested on suspicion of child abuse offences before he could get in the hotel lift.
He initially told officers they were mistaken and claimed the meeting he was on the way to was for an affair.
The National Crime Agency’s investigation began when they received intelligence from Norwegian law enforcement partners.
They discovered Whalley had discussed his sexual interest in children under 12 on the online platform Wickr.
He also described the extreme abuse he wanted to carry out and shared indecent images of children on the site.
Whalley used Wickr to message someone who claimed to have access to a baby and he told them about the abuse he wanted to inflict, NCA investigators found.
The 71-year-old initially pleaded guilty to making and distributing indecent images of children and later pleaded guilty to an additional count of arranging a child sex offence.
He had arranged to abuse the child while under a separate investigation into indecent images of children recovered from his devices in 2021.
Whalley was sentenced for all of the offences at Manchester Crown Court on Monday.
‘A dangerous offender’
Daniel Waywell, NCA operations manager, said: “Mark Whalley is a dangerous offender who had clear intentions to rape a young child.
“As a result of close collaboration with colleagues here in the UK and overseas, we were able to intervene and arrest him, and he will now spend years behind bars for his crimes.”
Written by: Newsroom