Man jailed for sex offences - Stevenage

28/11/2014

A man from Stevenage was given a prison term and Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) on Friday, 28 November 2014, at St Albans Crown Court after pleading guilty to a number of offences including attempted sexual grooming.

Steven Stapleton, aged 29, was arrested in August 2013 following an investigation by officers from Hertfordshire Constabulary's dedicated Child Online Safeguarding Team (COST).

The court heard how their investigations began after a concerned member of the public contacted police about a video which had been posted online a few days before his arrest. The video showed Stapleton being confronted by a man who had posed as a child in order to meet with him and expose him for grooming children. Information was also disclosed that Stapleton may have sexually assaulted a girl a few years before.

Officers located this victim and sought the appropriate orders to interrogate chat accounts used by Stapleton to talk to young girls.

He pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse between August 2007 and August 2008, attempted sexual grooming and two counts of publishing obscene articles. He was given an extended sentence of eight and a half years - four and a half to be served in prison and four on licence. He was also given 6 months for the two counts of publishing obscene articles, to run consecutively.

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