July 2008

Pervert jailed after sting by TV and police

PERVERT Roger Manning has been jailed after being exposed as a paedophile by a television documentary team and a police sting.

Manning, 43, of Cullompton, a former Exeter Crown Court security guard, was caught after the production team at BBC Panorama handed its own investigation findings to police.

A 24-year-old production assistant volunteered to pose as a teenage girl on chatroom and social networking site Teenspot.

Bristol Crown Court heard the woman was approached by Manning, under the moniker swimcoach_3, who, believing she was a girl under 13, asked her to engage in sexual activity.

Panorama handed the evidence to the Metropolitan Police, who in turn passed it to Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, who took over the sting operation.

The self-employed security guard asked the girl to commit a sexual act and then arranged to meet her for sex in a McDonald’s car park in Torquay.

Police officers swooped on the fast-food site at the Lowe’s Bridge Retail Park and arrested Manning as he was poised to send a text message to his would-be victim.

Manning pleaded guilty to three charges under the Sexual Offences Act — two of inciting an under-age girl to engage in sexual activity and one of arranging to engage in sexual activity.

Judge Julian Lambert sentenced Manning to an indeterminate sentence, with the possibility for parole in eight and a half months.

The judge subjected Manning to a sexual offences prevention order, prohibiting him from accessing chatrooms, working with children and spending time with children under 16.

He was added to the sex offenders’ register for life.

Judge Lambert said Manning committed three offences “as a result of trawling the internet looking for a female sex partner who you thought was a little girl”.

He went on: “The good work of the police nipped your perverted desires in the bud and no harm was done.”