Page last updated at 17:01 GMT, Tuesday, 20 May 2008 18:01 UK

Man jailed for internet grooming

Roger Manning
Manning arranged to meet a girl in a car park in Torquay

A security guard exposed as a paedophile in stings by a television documentary crew and police has been jailed by Bristol Crown Court.

Roger Kenneth Manning, 43, from Cullompton, Devon, was given an indeterminate sentence with possible parole in eight-and-a-half months.

He pleaded guilty to three charges under the Sexual Offences Act.

One of them involved making sexual advances to a TV worker posing as an underage girl in an internet chatroom.

Sting operation

The 24-year-old production assistant for the BBC Panorama programme posed as a teenage girl on the social networking site Teenspot.

Manning contacted her under the user name Swimcoach3.

Believing she was 13, he asked her to engage in sexual activity.

The Panorama team handed their evidence on Manning over to the Metropolitan Police, who passed the case to the Devon and Cornwall force.

Officers in Devon then posed as a teenage girl on the internet.

The good work of the police nipped your perverted desires in the bud
Judge Julian Lambert

The court heard Manning asked the fictional girl to commit a sexual act and arranged to meet her for sex in a McDonald's car park at the Bridge Retail Park in Torquay.

When he arrived for the rendezvous he was met by officers who arrested him.

Manning pleaded guilty to two charges of inciting an underage girl to engage in sexual activity and one of arranging to engage in sexual activity.

Sentencing him, Judge Julian Lambert said Manning committed the offences "as a result of trawling the internet looking for a female sex partner who you thought was a little girl".

"The good work of the police nipped your perverted desires in the bud," he added.

'Frightened' man

Manning was also prohibited from accessing internet chatrooms, working with children and spending time with children under 16.

He was added to the sex offenders' register for life.

Defence lawyer Jason Taylor said Manning was a "frightened" man.

He said: "He has been vilified in his community, he has suffered damage to his property and his home."

Det Insp Simon Snell from Devon and Cornwall Police said: "I'm pleased with the result but more importantly the community around Devon and Cornwall and wider are aware we're on the net, doing this job, and we will pursue offenders and bring them to court."

A follow up to the BBC Panorama programme which prompted the investigation will be broadcast on May 26.

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