A man has been jailed for child sex offences thanks to the proactive work of officers dedicated to protecting children online.
During a proactive investigation by officers from our Police Online Investigation Team (POLIT), a user in a chat room began sexualised conversations with two girls he believed were 12 years old.
The user claimed to be a 22-year-old man from London but in reality, the account belonged to 33-year-old John McArthur.
After examination of his devices, McArthur, formerly of Shalford Road, Braintree, was summonsed to appear at court charged with 18 offences.
He appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on 6 September after previously admitting to: • Ten counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child; • One count of making indecent photographs of children; • Two counts of attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity; • Five counts of attempting to cause a child to look at an image of sexual activity.
He was sentenced to five years and four months imprisonment, with a further three years and eight months on extended license.
McArthur was also added to the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order indefinitely.
The orders in place ensure he will continue to be the subject of stringent checks by offender managers.
Detective Sergeant Samantha Lewin of POLIT said: “It’s clear that McArthur poses a very real threat to our communities and there is no doubt that children are safer with him behind bars. “Our teams work around the clock to identify those who put your children’s safety at risk online, to disrupt their activities, and bring them to justice. “If you think you can hide behind a fake profile online, think again.”
If you have concerns, please report them
If you’ve been affected or would like to report information to us, please get in touch. We’re here to listen and will treat all reports seriously.
If you have concerns about your own use of the internet or someone you know, the Lucy Faithfull Foundation provide a free, anonymous and confidential Stop It Now! helpline on 0808 1000 900 for advice and information.