Man jailed over child sex offences

A MAN has been jailed for 12 years after pleading guilty to multiple child sex offences – committed while living in Salisbury.

John Devine, inset, who is a registered sex offender and was on prison licence at the time of the offences, was sentenced after pleading guilty to the following offences:

  • Make indecent images of a child (category A)
  • Make indecent images of a child (category B)
  • Make indecent images of a child (category C)
  • Distribute an indecent image of a child (category A)
  • Distribute an indecent image of a child (category C)
  • Attempt to engage in sexual communication with a child
  • Attempt to cause a child to engage in penetrative sexual activity
  • Attempt to cause a child to look at an image of sexual activity.

Between September 2, 2021, and October 1, 2021, Devine engaged online with a profile of a user who he believed to be a 12-year-old boy.

The conversation was of a sexual nature and included Devine encouraging the child to carry out a sexual act.

During the investigation, which was run in conjunction with the TARIAN Regional Organised Crime Unit in South Wales, there was never a real life victim and no children were abused.

However, following Devine’s arrest, devices were seized from his property and more than 600 images and videos of category A indecent images of children were located. These depict the most serious abuse of children.

As well as the 12-year prison sentence, the 52-year-old must register as a sex offender indefinitely.

Det Con Sadie McCoy, of the Wiltshire Police Child Internet Exploitation Team, said: “Despite being on licence at the time of these offences, Devine has continued to offend. He is a risk to society and I am pleased the serious nature of his offending has been recognised and he has been given a lengthy prison sentence.

“I hope this investigation demonstrates Wiltshire Police commitment to rooting out serious offenders like Devine within our community and ensuring they are put before the courts.

“We would encourage anybody who wishes to report child sex abuse of any nature to come forward and contact us – you will be supported by a team of professionals whose role it is to protect children from harm.”

Det Insp Matthew Davies, of TARIAN ROCU, said: “It is our absolute priority to protect and keep children safe in our communities. Law enforcement operates across the internet and we will relentlessly seek to bring to justice offenders who use the web to facilitate the abuse of children.

“We are committed to combating child sexual abuse, safeguarding children and bringing those offenders who seek to abuse children to justice.

“If anyone has been a victim of child sexual abuse, I urge you to report it to your local police force via 101. We will always follow up allegations of abuse, no matter when they occurred.

“Victims can talk in confidence to experienced investigators and we can also help them get access to a range of other support services.

“If you have concerns about your use of the internet or inappropriate thoughts or behaviour about children or if you are worried about how someone you know behaves around children or are worried about their use of the internet then the Lucy Faithfull Foundation provide a free, anonymous and confidential Stop It Now! Helpline on 0808 1000 900 for advice, support and information.”

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