A barrister who made arrangements to travel across the country in order to sexually abuse teenage girls has been jailed for three and a half years.

Guy Sims, 53, was found guilty by a jury at Oxford Crown Court of three counts of arranging or facilitating commission of a child sex offence.

According to the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU), in September 2017 Sims – who lived in Bedford – talked online to two people he believed were 13-year-old schoolgirls. He posed as an 18-year-old and used the social media platforms Mylol and Kik.

In a statement, the crime unit said that Sims then travelled from Cambridge to Portsmouth with the intention of engaging in sexual activity with one of the girls. 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, Sims engaged in conversation of a sexual nature with the third person he believed to be a 13-year-old school girl in October 2019. 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 the investigation, the victims in the case were not real.

Detective Chief Inspector Philip Attwood, of SEROCU, said: ‘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.’