A paedophile who used WhatsApp and social media to prey on young girls has been jailed.
David Guite, 29, first came to the attention of police in October 2019 when it was found he had been communicating with a 13-year-old girl in Gloucestershire via TikTok and WhatsApp.
The girl would not allow police to download the content of her phone and did not want to provide a statement, but Guite was arrested at his home in March and questioned.
He told police officers he stopped communicating with the girl when he knew how old she was and claimed his phone had been hacked during the period of the conversations.
He was released while an investigation took place but while forensic examination of Guite’s devices was ongoing, he started sexualised conversations with what he thought was a 15-year-old girl on the platforms Skout and WhatsApp.
It was in fact an adult member of an online child activist group.
A member of the group handed information to the police and a warrant was conducted at Guite’s new address in Eastwood Avenue, March.
A phone seized by police revealed another sexualised WhatsApp conversation with a 12-year-old girl and an additional three sexualised conversations on the app with profiles belonging to children.
Guite admitted four charges of engaging in sexual communication with a child, attempting to cause or incite a child aged 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity and attempting to cause or incite a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity.
On Wednesday (29 September) at Peterborough Crown Court he was jailed for 30 months.
He was also made subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life.
Parents urged to talk to children about staying safe online
DC Scott Bowden of Cambridgeshire Constabulary said: “Guite’s online behaviour was very disturbing. He continued with a clear intent to engage in sexualised conversations with young girls for his own sexual gratification despite being under investigation.
“This case shows paedophiles are using common online platforms as well as operating on the dark web. If you’re a parent or carer please talk to your children about online safety and take an interest in their activity, as well as who they are communicating with.
“We are determined to protect children in our communities and bring people before for the courts who choose to prey on them.”
Sarah’s Law allows people to apply for disclosure information to ensure someone who has contact with a child has not been convicted of a sex offence. For more information visit: https://bit.ly/3ik1oN8
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