August 2022

Barnham paedophile jailed for 20 years after FBI investigation

A depraved paedophile who posed as a young woman has been jailed for 20 years after an investigation involving the FBI.

Luke Smith, 53, posed as a 20-year-old woman to message a man in the US, persuading him to sexually abuse a baby.

The man was convinced to go on camera assaulting his partner’s 20-month-old son.

The boy’s mother discovered what had happened and the man was arrested. He has been in prison ever since.

An investigation was launched involving the FBI and Sussex Police

Smith, who lived in Orchard Way, Barnham, near Bognor, at the time of the crimes, was arrested and several devices seized, including his laptop and phone.

These included dozens of requests made by Smith for the baby boy to be sexually assaulted.

The crimes happened between July 2018 and December 2019.

He was charged and appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court on Friday August 19 where he pleaded guilty to nine counts of encouraging the penetrative sexual assault of a child under 13 and four counts of making indecent images of children.

Some of which were category A, which are deemed the most extreme.

Smith, now of Hewitt Road in Portsmouth, was sentenced today.

He will also be placed on the sex offenders register for life.