Man behind bars for arranging a child sex offence
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A man has been sentenced to 44 months in prison after pleading guilty to arranging to meet who he thought was a child for sex but who was actually an undercover police officer.
Mark Crampton, 57, of Richmond-upon-Thames, was also given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order when he was sentenced at Guildford Crown Court last Friday (5 March).
He had pleaded guilty to arranging/facilitating the commission of a child sex offence, attempting to meet a girl under 16 years of age following grooming, and two counts of an adult attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child at an earlier hearing.
Crampton was arrested after communicating with two undercover police officers from the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit between 18 April and 21 May 2020.
On 18 April 2020 Crampton sent a private message to one of the officers, who he believed was a 13-year-old girl. Communication between Crampton and the officers continued, including sexually explicit messages sent by Crampton using Kik Messenger, until his arrest on 21 May 2020 in the grounds of Guildford Cathedral, where he had travelled with the intention of carrying out sexual acts with the child.
It later transpired that Crampton had travelled to Guildford Cathedral the previous day to establish where he could engage in sexual activity with the child.
He was subsequently arrested by two officers from Surrey Police on suspicion of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence.
Detective Constable Steve Branch, who investigated the incident, said: “The sentence and the indefinite SHPO given to Crampton reflects the serious nature of his offending and has meant that a dangerous sexual predator will now be behind bars and will not be able to pose a threat to vulnerable teenagers.
“Crampton communicated with who he thought was a teenage girl for several weeks and these messages were extremely sexual in nature, culminating in him arranging to meet her for sex.
“This case demonstrates our commitment to targeting sex offenders within our communities and ensuring they are held to account for their reprehensible behaviour.”
Detective Inspector Lisa Heaton from the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit said: “The arrest of Crampton was part of a proactive, intelligence-led investigation relating to child sexual offences. It forms part of our continued priority to protect children from sexual exploitation and from those who would see do them harm.
“If anyone has been the victim of child sexual abuse I would encourage them to report it to your local police force via 101. We will always follow up allegations and law enforcement work together to bring to justice individuals who use the internet to facilitate the abuse of children. Victims can talk in confidence to experience investigators and we will also help them get access to a range of support services.”
Anyone who believes they have been the victim of sexual abuse is urged to come forward as soon as possible – your allegation will be treated seriously and you will be provided with specialist support.
More support and advice is available here:
If you are concerned about your thoughts and behaviour towards children, support is available here https://www.lucyfaithfull.org.uk/