Bishop's Stortford dentist in vigilante child-sex sting

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St Albans Crown Court
Image caption,
Married dentist Alan Urie pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity

A dentist who believed he was going to meet a teenage boy for sex has been given a two-year suspended sentence.

The St Albans Crown Court judge said no child existed and there was no abuse.

Married Alan Urie, 63, was caught when paedophile vigilantes posed as a 15-year-old boy on the gay website Grindr.

The dentist, from Bishop's Stortford, set up a meeting at Birchanger Services and was arrested after a tip off. He pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

The vigilante group told police about the meeting on 12 June 2017 and Urie was held at the service station.

'Wrestling with your conscience'

Defending, Matthew Gowen said: "He has already lost his career, his job and the respect of family and friends."

Judge Nigel Lithman QC told him: "This is charged as an attempt. No child existed and none was abused.

"What singles this case out was that there was a degree of wrestling by you with your conscience, which told you, you were running headlong into disaster.

"Fortunately no actual child suffered."

The judge sentenced him earlier to a two-year prison sentence suspended for two years.

Urie must also carry out 200 hours' unpaid work and attend 20 days of a rehabilitation activity.

He must register as sex offender and abide by the terms of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years.

The judge added: "I am making a high unpaid work order - 200 hours - a lengthy time for you to reflect on what you have done.

"You can go, but you better stay out of trouble. You better had."

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