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Havant man charged with attempted arson with intent to endanger life
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Fareham predator Peter Clements, 53, was jailed after his efforts to entice a girl – by claiming to be a photographer – were shown up to be nothing more than a ruthless ploy to abuse a child.
Clements, of Miller Drive, attempted to seduce the officer pretending to be a girl after striking up a conversation on a site using the nickname Honey Monster between July 29 and August 3. He then offered to pay for modelling images.
The sex offender’s depraved attempts to engage the girl meant he fell foul of a sexual harm prevention order made against him for previous offences in Southampton in 2016.
Prosecutor William Saunders told Portsmouth Crown Court the defendant’s intentions were quickly laid bare when he began chatting with the undercover officer posing as a child.
He said: ‘(Clements) said he would pay for modelling images. When she said she was 12 years old there did not seem to be any concern from the defendant.
‘When the child asked what sort of images, Clements said glamour pictures. The chat continued to become sexual.
‘He sent her text messages and called the child’s number. He wanted to meet.
‘He was discussing booking a hotel room and tried arranging for other adult males to join him before saying he was struggling to get others so would she mind doing it alone.’
When police subsequently arrived at his address, Clements was resigned to his fate. ‘He slumped his shoulder and said: “I know why you are here”,’ his defence lawyer Howard Barrington-Clark said.
The barrister described the dangerous paedophile as a ‘Walter Mitty’ character due to his fantasies, before adding: ‘There was no risk of this fantasy spilling over into reality.’
Mr Barrington-Clark pleaded with the judge to be ‘bold and courageous’ and allow Clements to keep his liberty by proving he was reformed via successful completion of a three-month deferral order.
But despite also pointing out Clements had since had a diagnosis for a compulsive sexual behaviour disorder, attempts to stop the defendant being locked up fell on deaf ears.
Judge Keith Cutler said it was ‘sad to see you here’ to Clements after it was ‘quite clear for some time you had behaved yourself’.
The judge said he ‘must follow the guidelines’ before he jailed Clements for 30 months.
Clements had pleaded guilty to engaging a child in sexual communication, breaching a sexual harm prevention order, failing to complete notification requirements from a previous order, and arranging a child sex offence.
He will now have to sign the sex offenders register for life and was handed a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.
Speaking after the sentence, an NSPCC spokeswoman said: ‘Clements depraved attempts to abuse children show the ease with which offenders can use the internet as a tool to target young people.
‘The NSPCC is calling on the government to ensure its upcoming Online Safety Bill is robust enough to protect children from offenders like Clements, and holds tech companies accountable if young people are put at risk on their platforms.’

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