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Sick paedophile who drove four hours to abuse children jailed for eight years

James Ritchie
James Ritchie, 30, said he ‘wasn’t sure if he could control himself’ around kids under six (Picture: Central News)

A sick paedophile who drove four hours to London to sexually abuse young children has been jailed for eight years after saying he ‘wasn’t sure if he could control himself’ around kids under six.

James Ritchie, 30, detailed horrific abuse he would commit if he was given the chance during weeks of online chats with an undercover cop.

He also sent ‘intimate images’ of himself, requesting they be shown to children before he met with them and alleged he had abused children in the past.

The sex offender installed a ‘kill switch’ on his phone so he could delete all evidence with the click of a button.

Ritchie planned to stay in London the whole weekend, believing the individual he was talking to had set him up to meet children.

Following a 190 mile drive to Clapham, he was arrested by Metropolitan Police officers on July 10, 2020.

They seized his phone while it was unlocked, stopping him from hitting the ‘kill switch’ and securing essential evidence for his trial.

An investigation was launched into Ritchie’s own claims he had abused children in the past.

After searching his home, Met officers found a number of images of child sexual abuse, including Category A.

He was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment at the Inner London Crown Court on May 21.

PC Gurpreet Singh, of the Met’s Online Child Sexual Abuse & Exploitation Command, described Ritchie as a ‘dangerous individual who stated that he was not sure that he would be able to control himself if he were to come into contact with children younger than six years old’.

He added: ‘The work of our team, which involved hours of online research and meticulous evidence gathering, helped us put together a robust casefile and submit multiple charges to the Crown Prosecution Service, which has ultimately landed Ritchie this lengthy custodial sentence.

‘Ritchie will also be a Registered Sex Offender for the rest of his life. We hope that our dedication to this investigation will reassure the public that The Met work obstinately to protect the most vulnerable people in our society.’

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