A 'dangerous predator' has been sentenced after pleading guilty to seven counts of child sex offences at Guildford Crown Court.

Stephen Powell, 42, of no fixed address, was sentenced to three years in prison on Monday, August 14, after he was reported to police for grooming a teenage girl online.

As well as the prison sentence, he was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO), with prohibitions.

Powell was also sentenced to a further two months in prison for two counts of burglary and two counts of fraud.

The former Camberley man was arrested the same day the report of his child sex offences was received in April 2020.

A search of his electronic devices showed that he was sending sexualised messages via Facebook Messenger to a teenage girl who lived in Surrey. In the messages Powell encouraged the girl to send sexualised images of herself.

He later pleaded guilty to seven counts of child sex offences including two counts of making an indecent photograph of a child, two counts of distributing an indecent photograph of a child and engaging in sexual communication with a child.

Detective Ed Davies, who investigated the case, said: “I hope that this case shows that sex offenders who target children online can expect a knock on the door from officers at any time, and that they will be held to account for their abhorrent behaviour.

“We are relentless in our pursuit for offenders and work around the clock to safeguard children from predators like Powell.

“If there is anyone reading this who has been a victim of online child sex abuse, I would encourage you to speak to us. We will do everything we can to support you.”

A police spokesman added: "If you have concerns that someone you know may have a sexual interest in children, please contact Stop It Now, a UK-wide charity focused on stopping child sexual abuse.

"For more information about online sexual abuse and how to spot it, please visit CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command)."