Paedophile jailed after travelling 150 miles to prey on young girl
- Credit: Sussex Police
A convicted sex offender from Suffolk has been jailed after travelling more than 150 miles to prey on a young girl in West Sussex.
Gary Fenn, 50, of Saxon Road, Saxmundham, Suffolk, appeared in custody at Hove Crown Court on Friday, November 5, and was given a nine-year extended sentence, comprising five years imprisonment and an extended four-year period on licence.
He had been convicted of sexually assaulting the girl, who was under 13, and of two breaches of sex offender notification requirements.
Fenn will also continue to be a registered sex offender for life and was given a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) to last indefinitely, severely restricting his access to children and digital communication devices.
In sentencing him, Judge Shani Barnes said: "We cannot underestimate the damage caused to the family by Fenn taking this opportunity to offend."
Detective constable Emily Turner, of the West Sussex safeguarding investigations unit, said: "In June this year Fenn, already registered sex offender, previously been convicted of offences involving indecent images of children, used a dating website to get to know a woman and travelled to Southwick, in Sussex, to meet her.
"He used this opportunity to meet and sexually touch her young daughter.
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"However, the girl quickly escaped the situation and informed her mother, who then contacted the police.
"We swiftly investigated and arrested Fenn, who was then charged on the authority of the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service). He has been in custody ever since his arrest.
"The bravery of this young lady in standing up against what she knew to be wrong, and by supporting this prosecution, has undoubtedly kept other children safe from this predatory paedophile, who has previous convictions for sexual offending."