A Merseyside man has been jailed for more than a decade after being caught by a Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit operation to catch online child sex offenders

James Buntain (57) from Wellbrae Close in the Wirrall, Merseyside, was given an extended sentence of 11 years at Sheffield Crown Court on Wednesday September 23 after pleading guilty to eight offences including inciting sexual activity with a child.

He was described by Judge David Dixon QC as posing an ‘incredibly high risk’ of carrying out sexual offences towards young female children.

The 57-year-old had spoken online with what he believed to be a 12 year old girl and travelled 90 miles from the Wirral to Barnsley, on November 7, 2019 to meet her. 

Buntain had however been in communication with police officers and was met and arrested at his ‘meeting point’ by officers from the Yorkshire and Humber ROCU.

Police enquiries established he had also been engaging online with other children and he was also convicted at court for messages sent to an unidentified but presumed child victim.

Aside from his sentence, Buntain was made the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

Senior Investigating Officer, DCI Jon Best of the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Crime Unit, said: “We welcome the sentencing of this truly repugnant individual and the clear message the magnitude of his sentence delivers about the seriousness of this offending.

“The Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit work to ensure that there is no safe space online for those that wish to groom and abuse children.

“Our operation has identified over 130 offenders who wish to harm and sexually abuse children, ensuring they are arrested and prosecuted.”