Ex-policeman from Romford jailed for child grooming on Grindr

Robert Andrews spent 30 years in the Met (Picture: Edward Smith)

Robert Andrews spent 30 years in the Met (Picture: Edward Smith) - Credit: EMPICS Entertainment

A former police officer caught trying to meet an underage boy by a vigilante group calling itself The Paedophile Squad has been jailed for two years.

Robert Andrews, 65, arranged the sexual encounter after using the gay social media app Grindr to talk to a man claiming to be only 14 years old.

Andrews, of Woodbridge Close, Romford, who spent 30 years in the Met, turned up only to be confronted by Ryan Jones, 27, and younger brother Elliot, 24.

The Jones brothers demanded £1,000 before reporting him to the police when he handed over only £100.

Both Ryan and Elliot Jones were convicted of blackmail after a trial at the Old Bailey last month and await sentencing.

Andrews, who has two previous convictions for possessing indecent images of children in 2004 and 2014, admitted a charge of attempting to meet a child following child grooming.

Judge Richard Sutton QC told him: “It is a very sad situation when you end up in this court for this sort of matter. I have a feeling it may have been a disaster waiting to happen.”

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Snaresbrook Crown Court heard Andrews discussed a number of sexual activities including oral and anal sex before arranging to meet up in Collier Row in Romford, Essex, in the early hours of April 29 last year.

“The person to whom the defendant was speaking clearly identified themselves as 14 years of age,” said Heather Stangoe, prosecuting.

Andrews told police he went to the meeting because he knew he was being duped and wanted to find out who was behind it.

He changed his plea to guilty on the first day of the trial.