A New Addington man who planned to meet a 12-year-old girl has been jailed for over three years. 

Dad-of-two Bobby Irving sent filthy messages and invited the young girl to spend a night with him in a hotel. 

But when he arrived at the tram stop to meet her he found himself confronted by paedophile hunters who ran the decoy account he had been messaging.   

Irving, 29, of Montacute Road, blames beer and cocaine for his offending. 

At Croydon Crown Court on Friday (March 22) Irving was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison. 

Your Local Guardian: Bobby Irving was caught by paedophile huntersBobby Irving was caught by paedophile hunters (Image: DOPE LIVE)

‘We were just joking’ 

Prosecutor Martin Ingle told the court that Irving’s offending had all taken place in November last year. 

He had sent messages to two separate decoy accounts, one posing as a 12-year-old girl and one posing as a 14-year-old girl. 

Irving quickly made both conversations sexual and encouraged the young girls to perform sexual acts on themselves. 

The paedophile then made arrangements for the 12-year-old girl to come to New Addington. 

He told her he would take her for dinner then they could spend the night at a hotel. 

“If we was to do stuff I would be so gentle. I promise babe,” he said. 

But when Irving turned up at the tram stop he was confronted by a team of paedophile hunters, Mr Ingle said. 

In a video broadcast on Facebook, Irving said he was just joking when he sent the messages. 

‘Blaming the beer and cocaine’ 

Irving later pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to incite a child into sexual activity and trying to meet a child following grooming. 

Miles Trigg, Irving’s barrister, said his client was a hard-working family man who had never committed offences like this before. 

He said Irving had been a functioning alcoholic and a heavy drug user at the time of his offending. 

But a probation worker who assessed Irving said that he tries to blame beer and cocaine for his offending. 

They said Irving was unwilling to acknowledge his sexual attraction to children, probably due to embarrassment and shame. 

Judge Charles Miskin KC told Irving: “You minimise the offence by blaming it on substance abuse and poor mental health.” 

He sentenced him to three years and nine months in prison, warning him: “Do not come back to this court again for anything like this. If you do you will go to prison for a very long time.”