December 2020

Guilty: Dagenham paedophile who handed himself in after spotting online police appeal

A man has been found guilty of sexual activity with a child after handing himself in to police following a public appeal.

Joao Francisco, of no fixed address but known to reside in Dagenham, was convicted at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday, December 7.

Police were called after the 16-year-old victim reported being abused by Francisco, 44, in October 2017.

He had been charged in June 2019 for sexual activity with a child but failed to appear in court the following month.

Police then launched a media appeal to find him in October 2019.

Officers were called by members of the public who wanted to pass on information, but Francisco handed himself into a police station in January after seeing himself online.

He was found guilty following a week-long trial.