March 2021

‘Dangerous sexual predator’ jailed for attempted meet-up with ‘teenage girl’ for sex at Guildford Cathedral

A “dangerous sexual predator” has been jailed after undercover police officers lured him into thinking he was meeting a teenage girl for sex at Guildford Cathedral.

Mark Crampton, 57, of Richmond-upon-Thames, has been sentenced to 44 months in prison after pleading guilty to arranging to meet who he thought was a child for sex.

He had pleaded guilty to arranging or 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 April 18 and May 21, 2020.

On April 18, Crampton sent a private message to one of the officers, who he believed was a 13-year-old girl. Communication continued, with him sending sexually explicit messages using Kik Messenger.

This led to his arrest on May 21 in the grounds of Guildford Cathedral, where he had travelled with the intention of carrying out sexual acts with who he thought was the child.

It later transpired that Crampton had travelled to Guildford Cathedral the previous day to establish where he could engage in the sexual activity, Surrey Police said.

Crampton was subsequently arrested by two officers from Surrey Police on suspicion of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence.

During the sentencing hearing at Guildford Crown Court on Friday, March 5, Crampton was additionally handed an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).