Man convicted of a child sexual offence – Hampshire 

A man has been convicted of a child sexual offence after travelling to Southampton intending to have sexual activity with a child. 

Following an investigation by officers from the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) Gordon Welch, of Sheffield Road, Portsmouth, pleaded guilty at a hearing at Southampton Crown Court yesterday (31/10), to arranging to commit a sexual act upon a child. 

The 67-year-old was arrested on 12 May having travelled from Portsmouth expecting to meet an 11-year-old girl. 

He arrived at Shirley, Southampton, equipped with condoms, Viagra and flavoured lubricant ready to commit the sexual acts but was instead met by police officers from SEROCU and Hampshire Constabulary. 

He was charged with the offence on the same day.  

Detective Constable Colin Haynes, of SEROCU, said: “Thankfully no children were ever in danger during this investigation. Despite this, Welch clearly intended to meet and carry out these acts on a child until he was stopped by officers as part of a proactive SEROCU investigation, with assistance from Hampshire Constabulary. I am glad he has now recognised his guilt. 

“SEROCU endeavours to safeguard children who may be vulnerable or at risk. We work to ensure those in society who pose a real risk to the community, in particular young children, are brought before a court to account for their actions.” 

Welch was remanded in custody to appear at Southampton Crown Court to be sentenced on 28 November. 

If you are concerned about your thoughts or behaviour towards children or those of someone else, please seek help and support via the Stop it Now! confidential helpline on 0808 1000 900. Further support is available from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.   

If offences have been committed, please report this to your local police force by calling the non-emergency number 101 or 999 in an emergency.