A Newport man who engaged in conversation with what he believed to be a 12-year-old girl, was sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court on Tuesday (23 May).
Mathew Jones, 33 from Bettws, Newport, was sentenced to five years and four months' imprisonment after being found guilty of online sexual offences for engaging in sexual communications with a child and arranging to meet a child following sexual grooming.
Officers from Tarian, the Regional Organised Crime Unit for southern Wales, and South Wales Police arrested and charged Jones in March 2023.
Jones was identified to have engaged in conversation with an undercover police officer, believing it to be a 12-year-old girl. He turned the communication sexual, quickly arranging to meet the child profile. Jones was caught in the act of meeting who he believed was a child, he was quickly detained and arrested.
He was subsequently charged and remanded into custody. Such was the magnitude of evidence against him a guilty plea was made to all charges.
Detective Inspector Mathew Davies, of Tarian, said:
“This is another notable result for us and South Wales Police in removing a dangerous individual from preying on vulnerable children. Until he was caught, Jones was a respected member of the community in Newport. By working closely with South Wales Police, we were able to identify and promptly detain Jones to prevent him for committing further offences.
“Safeguarding children within our communities is incredibly important and working closely with all South Wales Forces we will continue to target those offenders looking to exploit children. We will tirelessly seek to bring those offenders who continue to use the internet to facilitate the abuse of children to justice.
“If anyone has been a victim of child sexual abuse, we 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.”