A FORMER policeman has been jailed for 13 years after arranging to meet several underage boys in order to rape them.

Christopher Cuthbertson was arrested at Strensham Services, near Worcester, expecting to meet another male adult who he believed would allow him to have sex with a 12-year-old boy called ‘Sam’.

This turned out to be a police sting and a subsequent analysis of the defendant’s phone found evidence of other such arranged meet-ups with real children, one as young as five.

Cuthbertson, 42, accepted 11 charges when appearing at Worcester Crown Court on Thursday (March 7), including possessing and sending indecent images.

Judge Richard Griffith-Jones said, “in many ways, it is a tragedy” to see someone of previously such good standing in society commit such “grave abuse” to children.

The court heard that Cuthbertson, of Crump Way, Evesham, has a six-year-old daughter and his siblings have now disowned him following the offences coming to light.

Jason Aris, defending, said his client told him “he has pushed the self-destruct button on his life” and is “devastated” by the shame he has brought on his family.

Matthew Barnes, prosecuting, said Cuthbertson was arrested on December 22, 2018, at the service station having been “unwittingly communicating with an undercover police officer” online since December 11.

While arranging the meeting, the defendant had sent indecent images of children to the contact and an image of an erect adult penis he believed would be shown to ‘Sam’.

One photo showed a six-year-old child in a pair of shorts, exposing his penis.

Cuthbertson sent a screenshot of a booking for a hotel in Tewkesbury and asked the officer, who was posing under the username ‘UK Lad’, whether he needed to wear a condom.

The messages confirmed he wanted to commit several sexual acts with the child, after he had been made fully aware he was only 12, and Cuthbertson then asked if a “trustworthy” friend could also be involved.

They even discussed what excuse to give the boy’s mother as to why he would be away for the night.

Mr Barnes said as the meeting drew nearer, Cuthbertson asked “whether Sam was looking forward to having sex” and said “some kids know what they want and will do anything for [sex]”.

He was arrested at 3pm at the meeting point at the northside of the station, when officers confiscated his phone, as well as discovering a black bag in his car containing sex toys and clothing, condoms and lubricant.

In interview, Mr Barnes said the defendant initially denied he was there to have sex and said instead he was trying to intercept the child and keep them safe.

However, after being made aware of the evidence police had, he admitted to the offences.

Eight charges were put to Cuthbertson after police had analysed his phone, including arranging to meet real underage boys, ranging from ages five to 15, and possessing extreme pornographic images.

Mr Barnes said while arranging to meet the police decoy ‘Sam’, Cuthbertson began speaking to someone using the username ‘Boy Fleet’ on December 14, 2018, who told him he had access to boys aged five, nine and 11 “who he was willing to allow the defendant to have sex with”.

“‘Boy Fleet’ sent him a number of [images of] pre-pubescent boys being raped,” Mr Barnes continued.

An image of an erect male penis was sent by the defendant to ‘Boy Fleet’ as part of a series of 75 messages exchanged, where a potential meeting in London was discussed.

Cuthbertson asked if there would be a charge and if he would need to where protection – later saying: “I really want those boys.”

Over the same period, the defendant also began speaking to another real 14-year-old boy from Hammersmith, London, and invited him to a “male sex orgy” which was taking place on December 22.

Mr Barnes said he offered to pay for the cost of travel and a hotel for them to stay in down in London – and when the child began to express reservations he attempted to persuade him.

Cuthbertson was also messaging another real 15-year-old boy between December 10 and 13, 2018, who also lived in London and the defendant suggested they meet in January when he was due in the capital.

He even asked if the child knew “any other young boys” they could also meet up with.

The extreme porn found on Cuthbertson’s phone included images of mutilated private parts and animal sex.

As well as sentencing Cuthbertson to a total of 13 years in prison, Judge Griffith-Jones said he would be subject to a sexual harm prevention order lasting indefinitely.

His mobile phone was also ordered to be confiscated and destroyed and he was made to sign the sex offenders register indefinitely.