August 2021

Jail for man who sent indecent images to online paedophile hunter posing as schoolgirl

A Suffolk man has been jailed after being snared by an online paedophile hunter posing as a 13-year-old girl.

Carl Bennett sent photos of his erect penis to a woman, from the group known as Innocent Voices, thinking she was a 13-year-old girl named Megan.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how Bennett had dealt with redundancy and relationship problems by taking cocaine and seeking “validation” in sexualised conversations with the decoy teen.

The 33-year-old, of Feltwell Place, Haverhill, had previously admitted two counts of attempting to cause a child to engage in sexual activity and one count of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

The court heard how Bennett’s messages became increasingly sexualised over a period of four months after he initiated contact by sending a friend request to a fake Facebook profile on April 4, 2019.

Prosecutor Richard Burrington said Bennett, claiming to be 22 years old, requested naked photos of the decoy and sent photos of his erect penis, and of himself masturbating.

He then asked her to masturbate and made several attempts at persuading her to meet for penetrative sexual activity in a variety of locations, including a hotel, a car and a forest

Recorder Jeremy Benson jailed Bennett for 28 months. He will also be subject to a sexual harm prevention order and must sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.