A St Leonards man has been jailed for six years, for trying to arrange sexual activity with someone he thought was a teenage girl.

Douglas Warren, of Kings Road, was sentenced on Friday (8 September) at Hove Crown Court for multiple child sex offences.

The 44 year old was found guilty of one count of distributing indecent images of children, three counts of making indecent images of children, one count of encouraging the distribution of indecent images of children, and one count of attempting to incite a girl aged 13 to 15 to engage in penetrative sexual activity.

 

Officers from the Sussex Police Paedophile On-line Investigation Team (POLIT) received information Warren had been communicating with what he believed to be a 13-year-old girl.

Warren used multiple different accounts and personas to talk with the ‘girl’.

The former shop worker sent her indecent images of children he had sourced from the internet, and indecent images of himself.

Warren quickly turned threatening, using one of the accounts to threaten and blackmail her in an attempt to get her to share indecent images with him.

However, there was no 13-year-old girl.

Warren had been talking with an undercover police officer in the United States.

Detective Constable Martin Harmer said:

“Warren was particularly devious and used various tactics to try to manipulate and threaten what he thought was a vulnerable child.

“Unfortunately all too often there is a real child at the end of these conversations but thankfully this was not the case with this investigation.

“This is a really good example of international working with our American colleagues.

“This type of offending is not restricted by country boundaries and we will continue to work closely with our colleagues around the world to safeguard children and bring these offenders to justice”.

On 25 May this year Sussex POLIT officers executed a warrant at his home and he was arrested.

Warren admitted the offences when interviewed later the same day.

He remained in custody throughout the investigation.

In sentencing Judge Christine Laing said she had no doubt that Warren was a dangerous offender with a high risk of re-offending.

Judge Christine Laing added the offence was severely aggravated due to his previous conviction for a similar offence in Kent just two years ago.

The only mitigating factor was Warren pleaded guilty in this case at the earliest opportunity.

Warren was also issued with additional four-year extended prison licence supervision requirement after his release, following his court pre-sentence assessment.

Warren will be a registered sex offender for life, he was issued with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order severely restricting his access to children, computer equipment and the internet.