A sexual offender from Glastonbury has been jailed for 10 years after being found guilty of more than a dozen offences.
Stuart Marchmont was found guilty of 13 online sexual offences after a trial in February before being sentenced last week.
The court was told the 38-year-old incited a girl, who was 12 at the time, from another part of the country to engage in sexual activity via an online platform.
Subsequent investigative enquiries identified Marchmont was from the Avon and Somerset area and we worked with partner agencies – including the South West, South East and Tarian Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs) – to bring him to justice.
Marchmont continued to try to contact underage children and believed he was communicating with five different girls, but actually was messaging specialist ROCU officers who target offenders operating online to exploit and abuse children.
Marchmont, formerly of Park Farm Road, received a 10-year sentence at Taunton Crown Court on Wednesday 26 April for one count of inciting a child under 13 to engage in non-penetrative sexual activity and 10 counts of attempting to engage or incite sexual activity with the children who did not actually exist.
He was also sentenced for one count each of causing non-penetrative sexual activity with a 15-year-old and making indecent images of the same child – offences that only came to light upon his arrest in 2021.
Marchmont also received an indefinite sexual harm prevention order to ensure he can be monitored upon his future release and will be on the sexual offenders’ register.
“This was a lengthy and complex investigation, involving some brilliant collaborative work between several different policing organisations, into the actions of a persistent sexual predator.
“We are continually looking to prevent such offending and protect those vulnerable children these offenders prey on. This court result reflects the harm that Marchmont has caused the two children he did contact.
“Online child sexual exploitation is a horrendous crime that sex offenders, such as Marchmont, seek to carry out behind false profiles, for their own sexual gratification. But however hard they try to hide their offending, law-enforcement agencies will leave no stone unturned to put the likes of Marchmont in prison to protect the lives of other innocent children.”Officer in the case Detective Constable Duncan Sandle
Detective Inspector David Wells from the SWROCU’s Online Investigations Team said: “Marchmont clearly posed a serious risk to children, persistently attempting to get young girls to engage in sexual activity online.
“As this case shows, law enforcement agencies are across the internet determined to ensure they don’t succeed. It is vital parents and children themselves take steps to protect against the threat.”