Man jailed after making plans to sexually abuse a young child
A man from Glastonbury has been sentenced to three years in prison for attempting to meet a young girl he intended to sexually abuse.
Paul Hatton, 55, of Benedict Street, Glastonbury pleaded guilty to attempting to arrange or facilitate commission of a child sex offence, and attempting to cause a child under 13 to watch or look at an image of sexual activity, at Swindon Crown Court on Tuesday (7 June) following a joint investigation by the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU) and Wiltshire Police.
Between 7 February and 4 March this year, Hatton engaged in conversation online with what he thought was the mother of a young girl.
Hatton discussed meeting the woman, and spoke in detail of the sexual activity he wanted to carry out with her daughter when they met. He travelled to Swindon in order to meet the woman where he was arrested.
During this investigation, there was never a real life victim and no children were ever in any danger.
Detective Inspector David Wells from SW ROCU said: “Hatton posed a serious and dangerous risk to children and he has now been brought to justice.
“This is vital work, identifying offenders who use the internet to directly groom children, share indecent images of children, and, as in this case, attempt to arrange access to children to abuse.
“Law enforcement agencies are across the internet determined to ensure they don’t succeed. It is vital parents and children themselves take steps to protect against the threat.”
Detective Constable Justine Parsons from Wiltshire Police’s Child Internet Exploitation Team, said: “Our team works tirelessly, in conjunction with other agencies, including our partners at the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit, to both protect children and ensure offenders are identified and arrested.
“The work we do undoubtedly prevents offenders like Hatton from going on and abusing vulnerable children.
“We would urge anyone who has concerns that a child they know may be being abused or exploited, to report this to the police. You can find out more information here: www.wiltshire.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/caa/child-abuse/”
Hatton was sentenced to 3 years for Count 1 and one year for Count 2 to run concurrently. He was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely and given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).
The NSPCC website has clear and extensive advice for parents and carers, children and young people, and professionals.
If you are worried about something that has happened to your child online, report it to CEOP.
If you have concerns about your own use of the internet or inappropriate thoughts or behaviour about children, or you are worried about how someone you know behaves, then contact the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.