June 2022

Paedophile travelled to Swindon intending to sexually abuse and rape nine-year-old girl

A paedophile was arrested after he travelled to Swindon intending to sexually abuse and rape a nine-year-old girl.

Paul Hatton travelled from his home in Glastonbury after speaking to what he thought was a 41-year-old woman online, who was going to allow him to sexually abuse her daughter.

They talked about performing sex acts on each other, and would “encourage [the girl] to involve herself in sexual activity”.

But the 55-year-old was actually talking to an undercover police officer and when he arrived at West Swindon’s Asda, he was arrested.

Sentencing the joiner, the Judge Jason Taylor QC said he had “no doubt that had this child been real you would have proceeded to commit the acts you had expressed a desire to complete”.

He jailed him for three years and Hatton will have to sign the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

Bristol Crown Court had earlier been told that Hatton, of Benedict Street, started talking to the girl’s mother online earlier this year and spoke “every day or every couple of days” between February and March.

Prosecutor Tom Wright said there was a “very sexual flavour” to the conversation, with “enthusiastic discussion” as to what the 9-year-old girl would be involved in.

When Hatton, of Benedict Street, travelled to Swindon on March 4, he was found with Viagra and food items that he had discussed using in sex acts.

“It was going to be allowed to develop in a fairly organic way,” Mr Wright added.

He said that Hatton also sent the woman pictures of him “in a state of arousal” and videos of him pleasuring himself that he intended to be shown to the girl.

Hatton pleaded guilty to facilitating the commission of a child sex offence and causing a child to look at an image of sexual activity.

But Judge Taylor said he could not ignore that the probation report deemed him at high risk of serious harm to children and unable to be managed in the community.

He recognised that “limited insight” had been shown, but that this was “not unusual at this stage”.