Manchester man who arranged to rape 12-week-old baby jailed

A paedophile who arranged to rape a 12-week-old baby at a hotel has been jailed.

Mark Whalley was arrested in the foyer of a hotel in Manchester city centre where he planned to carry out the abuse.

The 71-year-old admitted arranging a child sex offence, making and distributing indecent images of children and possession of extreme pornography at Manchester Crown Court.

He was sentenced to 80 months.

The court heard Whalley was tracked down after detectives received a tip-off from police in Norway.

National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators found Whalley had discussed his sexual interest in children under 12 on the online Wickr platform.

He had shared indecent images of children with other users and described the extreme abuse he wanted to engage in.

Detectives said Whalley, from Manchester, had used the site to message an individual who said they had access to a baby, and discussed how he would like to carry out the abuse when they met.

‘Dangerous offender’

Whalley was arrested on suspicion of child abuse offences before he could get in the lift at the hotel.

At this point, he told officers they were mistaken and attempted to pass the meeting off as an affair.

After initially pleading guilty to making and distributing indecent images of children, he later pleaded guilty to an additional count of arranging a child sex offence and possession of extreme pornographic images.

Whalley had arranged to abuse the child while subject to a separate investigation in which indecent images of children had been recovered from his devices in 2021.

NCA operations manager Daniel Waywell said he was “a dangerous offender who had clear intentions to rape a young child”.

“As a result of close collaboration with colleagues here in the UK and overseas, we were able to intervene and arrest him, and he will now spend years behind bars for his crimes,” he said.

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