A paedophile who travelled from Aldershot to Kent with the intention of sexually abusing a young girl has been jailed for six years.

Darren Andrews, 33, formerly of Cambridge Road in Aldershot, arranged to travel to Maidstone to meet an eight-year-old girl who he thought had been offered for sex.

He did not realise was that the supposed parent of the fictional girl, with whom he had discussed the arrangement, was an undercover police officer.

He appeared at Maidstone Crown Court for sentence on Tuesday June 17. As well as the six years’ imprisonment, he was also given an extended licence period of five years for public protection. Officers found he had amassed more than 100,000 indecent images of children on his computer, mobile phone and memory stick.

Andrews made arrangements online to abuse the made-up girl, trading emails and text messages and even meeting up with the police officer he thought was her parent.

On January 17, Andrews travelled to Maidstone with the intention of sexually abusing the girl but was arrested by officers from the Kent Police child exploitation investigation team.

He initially denied he was planning to go through with the abuse, but pleaded guilty at court to charges of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence, arranging or facilitating child pornography, possessing indecent images of children and distributing indecent images of a child.

Detective Constable Kinga Hammersley, from Kent Police, said: “Andrews told officers that it was just fantasy and that he would never have gone through with the plans.

“However, the graphic detail he included in his emails was hugely concerning, and he displayed a clear desire to sexually abuse children throughout his emails and during an initial meeting.

“We will use the full extent of our technical and legal capabilities to investigate people who think it is acceptable to abuse innocent children and put them before the courts.”

An indefinite sexual offences prevention order was granted and Andrews will remain on the sex offender’s register for life.