A SCHOOL bus driver from Dursley has been jailed for three years for child sex offences after being caught in a police sting.
Martin Smith, 40, was snared by an undercover police officer calling herself ‘Sadie’ who went online posing as a mum who was prepared to offer her own young children for sex.
Smith, of Olive Green, Dursley, took the bait and started exchanging texts and emails with ‘Sadie’ in a bid to arrange to meet her and have sex with her seven-year-old daughter.
Appearing in Gloucester Crown Court today, Smith was sentenced to three years in jail, was given a ten-year sexual harm prevention order and a lifetime requirement for Smith to register as a sex offender.
Speaking with the undercover police officer, Smith offered to spoke travel to Essex – where ‘Sadie’ said she lived – or meeting halfway in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
Although Smith was using false names and created a false trail to his IP address police tracked him down and raided his home at 7am on April 13 this year.
They seized two computer towers on which they found hundreds sexual images of children, some of which he had distributed to others including someone in America, said prosecutor Richard Posner.
Smith pleaded guilty to: making 732 indecent images of children between August 2010 and April 2017; making another 222 images between the same dates; distributing 21 indecent images of pre-pubescent girls aged 2-11 to an American between April and August 2015; distributing another 18 indecent pictures of children, some of which he took himself, between February and April this year; and taking indecent photos of a child between September and December 2015.
He also admitted attempting to arrange or facilitate the commission of a child sex offence between Feb and April this year with intent to penetrate a girl under 13.
Prosecutor Richard Posner said Smith signed onto a Russian operated photo hosting website using the name ‘Liking Little 3’ and said he was interested in ‘girls of all ages, mums a bonus, but not guys pretending.’
His profile image was of an adult woman kissing a boy aged about eight.
He uploaded pictures under the titles ‘My Cute Girl’ and ‘Cute Girl 2.’
They showed young girls and some images concentrated on the genital areas.
On February 27 this year the undercover officer Sadie was contacted by Smith and he told her he was interested in girls aged four and above.
He sent images of a seven-year-old girl he had photographed himself and asked Sadie if she would like to see something harder.
“He said he wanted to engage in penetrative sexual activity with her and her children. He wanted to travel to Essex, where he believed they were, so he could do so,” Mr Posner said.
As the conversation went on police were tracking his location and preparing to arrest him.
In one series of texts he told Sadie he knew his sexual interest in children was wrong but he could not help but be attracted to them.
He told how he had recently been in the company of a seven-year-old girl and her family and had ‘felt good’ when he lifted her onto a fence and he had to try hard not to get excited.
“He told Sadie that through his employment as a bus driver he was able to interact with and be sexually attracted towards some of the children he drove to school. He said his attraction was to pre-pubescent schoolgirls.
“Ironically he told Sadie that meeting her was too good to be true because he did not want to get caught and lose everything and he did not want to go to prison.”
When Smith was arrested he told his wife he loved her as police took him away.
He made no comment during interview.
But Judge Jamie Tabor QC said there had to be an immediate jail term for such serious offences.
He passed a sentence of three years jail and imposed a ten-year sexual harm prevention order and a lifetime requirement for Smith to register as a sex offender.
40-year-old Dursley bus driver Martin Smith who was expecting to be sentenced today for a catalogue of child sex offences has had his case delayed because a judge wants a probation service report on him
Dursley man pleads guilty to catalogue of child sex offences
THIS is the face of a 40-year-old Dursley man who committed an array of child sex offences including trying to arrange to molest a young girl.
Martin Smith, of Olive Grove in Dursley, pleaded guilty to the crimes when he appeared at Gloucester Crown Court last Thursday.
He admitted a total of six charges and was bailed to await sentencing on September 21.
The court heard that Smith admitted making 732 indecent images of children between August 2010 and April 2017; another charge of making a further 222 images between the same dates; distributing 21 indecent images to others between April and August 2015 and taking indecent photos of a child between September and December 2015.
Smith also tried to arrange to meet a girl under the age of 13 in order to sexually assault her, in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
Regarding this offence, he pleaded guilty to attempting to arrange or facilitate the commission of a child sex offence between February and April this year.
And finally he admitted distributing 18 indecent images of children between February and April this year.
Smith denied sexual assault of a child under 13 on April 9 this year and taking indecent images of a child during June 2016.
Prosecutor Janine Wood said his pleas were acceptable and that the Crown would not proceed with the two charges he denied.
Gareth James, defending, said he was not asking for a pre-sentence report on Smith but he did want medical reports about his treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Mr James asked for a four-week adjournment for those reports to be carried out.
Judge Jamie Tabor QC agreed, saying: “He has owned up as quickly as he can and I think that is only fair.”
He made it a condition of Smith’s bail that he does not contact or associate with anyone under 18.
After the hearing, an NSPCC spokesman condemned Smith.
“Smith has been exposed as a serial child sex offender, responsible for a series of appalling offences in recent years,” he said.
From taking, making and sharing indecent images of children, to attempting to meet a young girl for sex, Smith’s appalling actions were carried out purely for his own sexual gratification and it is right that he now faces justice.”