June 8, 2021 9.06 pm This story is over 13 months old

Convicted sex offender jailed after underage date sting at McDonald’s

He was actually talking to undercover cops

A convicted sex offender who described himself as “a monster” was jailed after arranging to meet a 13-year-old girl at a McDonald’s restaurant in Lincoln.

Robert Nicholson, 54, contacted someone he thought was a teenage girl on an internet chatroom and after making sexual suggestions to her he sent her a photograph of his penis.

But the “girl” was actually an undercover police officer acting as a decoy.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court that Nicholson then asked to meet the “girl” and after she suggested going to the McDonald’s at the Carlton Centre in Lincoln he agreed.

“The decoy suggested the McDonald’s at the Carlton Centre and he took the bait.

“It was agreed that the defendant would be there at 1.30.

“He texted his arrival at the planned location. That was the last contact he had with the decoy.

“He was met at McDonald’s not by a 13-year-old girl but by police who arrested him.

“When he was interviewed later that afternoon he was entirely frank with the police.

“He said that he knew it was wrong. He said he was flattered by the girl. He said he was relieved he was caught and that he needed help.

“He admitted he was naked during the online conversations. He said he was a monster and said ‘What the hell am I doing?’ “

The court was told that Nicholson had a previous conviction for sexual activity with a girl under the age of 16 and at the time of the incident was the subject of a sexual harm prevention order.

Nicholson, 54, of Queensway, Potterhanworth, near Lincoln, admitted a charge of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming on 10 March this year.

He was jailed for two years and given a two year extended licence which means that if he is released early from his sentence he will remain at risk of being returned to prison until June 2025. He was also placed on the sex offenders register for life.

Judge Simon Hirst told him: “You are a significant risk of causing serious harm by committing sexual offences towards young children in this city and county.”

Michael Cranmer-Brown, in mitigation, said that at the time of the offence Nicholson was depressed, having been badly affected by the death of his stepfather.

“Although he behaved badly he is profoundly remorseful for what he did.

“This was a decoy that he was communicating with. Nothing happened to any 13-year-old girl.”