Chigwell child sex offender who posed as teen online jailed

Christopher Lawrence

Christopher Lawrence has been jailed for three years after admitting a number of child sex offences - Credit: Essex Police

A Chigwell offender who posed as a teen to make sexual comments to children on social media has been jailed.

Christopher Lawrence, of Limes Avenue, admitted multiple counts of child sex offences and was sentenced to three years in jail at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Lawrence was arrested by Essex Police's online investigation team (POLIT) in June last year as part of an investigation into indecent images of children.

Officers seized the 30-year-old’s mobile phone and iPad, discovering he had posed as a 19-year-old to have 23 separate conversations on social media with children aged between 11 and 15.

The force said he used a fake name and stock images from the internet and made sexual comments in the conversations.

More than 20 indecent images of children were also found.

When interviewed, Lawrence admitted he would engage with sexual conversations with people he knew were children while high on cocaine, but denied having a sexual interest in children.

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In June this year at Chelmsford Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to 12 counts of sexual communication with a child, three counts of making indecent images of children, two counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity and one count of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He was sentenced at the same court on September 6, when he was put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

Det Insp Jim Adams, from POLIT, said: “Christopher Lawrence is a prolific offender who knowingly targeted children for his own sexual gratification.

“Thanks to the meticulous work by my officers he is now behind bars unable to pose a risk to young people.

“Every day my team is identifying predators who pose a danger to your family, target them, and ensure they cannot abuse children online.

“This is often difficult and distressing work and I want to pay tribute to their dedication.”

POLIT is made up of a team of specialist officers who investigate offences such as indecent images of children and digital paedophilic material.