March 2021

Surrey adviser deemed unsafe by the City regulator over sexual grooming offence

The City regulator has moved to ban Surrey-based financial adviser Jon Frensham from carrying out any regulated activity, after he was convicted of sexually grooming a child.

In March 2017 Frensham, formally known as Jonathan James Hunt, was convicted of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.

Frensham, 41, was sentenced to 22 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.

The ex-adviser was caught by a group of internet vigilantes known as the ‘Internet Interceptors’, who describe themselves as “a dedicated team of parents hunting paedophile’s and sexual predators across the UK and keeping our children safe.”

In an update today, the financial regulator said it does not consider Frensham to be a fit or proper person, and as such has decided to withdraw his regulatory functions and make an order prohibiting him from performing any regulated activity.

As a result of his conviction, the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) said Frensham poses a risk to consumers and to confidence in the financial system.

Frensham has referred the decision to the Upper Tribunal, where he and the FCA will have the chance to present their cases.

According to The Sun, Frensham, then Hunt, set up a profile on dating site Badoo, where he began chatting to 15-year-old ‘Holly’, who was in fact Sarah Doherty, a 36-year-old member of the Internet Inceptors.

Over time, his messages to Holly became more sexually explicit, at one stage asking her for a picture in her school uniform.

Frensham eventually arranged to meet Holly at Plumstead Station on 14 September 2014, where he was confronted by the vigilantes.

Frensham denied arranging to meet a girl under the age of 16 following grooming, but was convicted after trail at the Old Bailey.

The 41-year-old is executive director of Frensham Wealth in Surrey, a position he has held since December 2019.

Update: Hunt was sentenced to 22 months jail, suspended for 18 months and also ordered to complete a 60 hour sexual offences prevention or programme.

March 2017

Financial advisor caught grooming ‘child’ online

A wealthy financial advisor is facing jail after he was caught in a sting by an online protection team when he arranged to meet what he thought was a 15-year-old girl in south-east London. 

Jonathan Hunt, 51, targeted a teenager called Holly through social media site Badoo, sending sexually explicit messages and pleading for pictures of her in her school uniform.

Hunt, who had a respectable facade as a married financial advisor to clients around the world, set up a “date” with the girl and promised to “be gentle” when they had sex. 

But he was instead confronted by the 36-year-old founder of group Internet Interceptors, who had been posing as Holly to snare paedophiles

At the Old Bailey on Friday, a jury found Hunt guilty of arranging to meet a girl under 16 following grooming, despite his claims that he only wanted to take Holly shopping. 

Hunt was caught on camera by the team when they arrived at Plumstead train station on September 14 last year expecting to meet Holly. 

Confronted and told police were on the way, Hunt admitted arranging the meeting but insisted that he did not have sex in mind. 

He brushed off explicit messages he had sent, claiming he was drunk and did not mean it, and said his suggestion that Holly should strip for him into a shop changing room was “light-hearted”. 

Hunt suggested he was “a million miles away” from having sex with the girl, although he admitted he was “inappropriate and wrong” to have flirted with her online. 

Prosecutor Mr Malone told the court Hunt had “an ongoing interest in Holly, a desire to meet her, spend time with her, develop a relationship with her and a willingness to go to her house alone with her. 

“At no stage does the defendant suggest despite knowing her age that he would wait until she was 16-years-old, nor indeed does he ever seek to establish when that is that she will turn 16,” he said.

He also voiced concerns that she may be part of a sting operation, but still went through with the meeting after telling her that sex would be “cool, very cool”. 

Hunt, of Shepherds Way, Rickmansworth, denied arranging to meet a female aged under 16 following grooming.

He is due to be sentenced on March 27