He had been founded guilty of three counts of arranging or facilitating commission of a child sex offence by unanimous jury following a trial which concluded on 28 July at the same court.
The sentencing follows an investigation by specialist officers from the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) spanning four years.
During September 2017, Sims talked online to two people who he believed were 13-year-old schoolgirls using social media platforms Mylol and Kik. Posing as an 18-year-old and calling himself ‘markbatx’ and ‘markviva’, he made arrangements to meet one of the girls and, on 27 September 2017, travelled from Cambridge to Portsmouth with the intention of engaging in sexual activity her. When he arrived, he was arrested by officers who found he had cider and a condom on his person, along with camouflage leaf netting in his car. He had also made arrangements to meet another of the girls either on his way home or way to Portsmouth on the same day for sexual activity.
While under investigation, he engaged in conversation of a sexual nature with the third person he believed to be a 13-year-old school girl on 31 October 2019. Now calling himself ‘Yo Sarami’ and ‘Danny.dan,’ he made arrangements to meet her in Oxford for sexual activity to take place. Sims was charged in connection with the offences on 31 October 2019.
During this investigation, the victims in this case were not real. The court heard Sims will be barred from working as a barrister.
Detective Chief Inspector Philip Attwood, of SEROCU, said:
“This is the conclusion of a case in which Sims engaged in conversation of a sexual nature and arranged to meet up with those who he believed to be three teenage girls with the intention of carrying out child sexual abuse.
“Sims, worked as a civil barrister, and should have recognised the consequences of this offending. He demonstrated that he was prepared to go to great lengths and travel across the country to Portsmouth, to Guildford and to Oxford to engage in depraved sexual activity with children. He repeatedly engaged with the profiles of those he believed to be teenage girls online, and the threat he posed would have continued had it not been for the continued and dedicated efforts of those working for SEROCU.
“Law enforcement operates across the Internet and we are committed to ensuring those who use this means of communicating with those they believe to be children to arrange sexual abuse are brought before the courts to face justice.”