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A man who travelled to Essex with the intention of committing sexual offences against a teenage girl has been jailed today for three years.
Martin Latimer booked a hotel room and travelled to Pitsea on April 27, 2019 believing he was going to meet a 13-year-old girl he had been chatting to online.
Instead he was arrested and later charged with three child sex offences.
Latimer, 36, of Connaught Road, Hove, East Sussex, pleaded guilty to facilitating and arranging a child sex offence, causing a child to watch a sexual act and engaging a child in sexual chat at Basildon Crown Court on May 28 this year.
was sentenced at the same court today, Wednesday September 4.
A month prior to his arrest, Latimer befriended who he believed to be a 13-year-old girl online. Over the course of five weeks, he engaged in sexual conversation with her and sent naked photographs and videos of himself performing sexual acts.
He booked and paid for a bed and breakfast and travelled to Pitsea by train carrying a bag containing sex toys, chocolate and an unopened packet of girls’ underwear.
Latimer was arrested at The Nazeing, Basildon by officers from the Police Online Investigation Team.
PC Adam Colbear of the Police Online Investigation Team said: “Latimer travelled to Essex with every intention of engaging in sexual activity with a child he believed to be just 13 years of age.
“He researched, booked and paid for a bed and breakfast and embarked on a two-hour train journey to meet the girl he had been grooming for a number of weeks.
“Latimer has shown no remorse for his actions. He will now be put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.”
An NSPCC spokesperson for the East of England said: “Latimer set out to groom and sickeningly abuse a 13-year-old girl showing just how easy it is for predators to target vulnerable children online.
“Last year in Essex police recorded 170 sexual offences against children with an online element, which is why we are calling for statutory regulation of social media to compel tech companies to protect children on their sites as a priority.”
Anyone concerned about an adult engaging inappropriately with a young person online can call the NSPCC Helpline for advice on 0808 800 5000 or email [email protected]