A PREDATORY paedophile who groomed teenage girls using social media sites has been jailed for nine years.
Benjamin Spratt, 28, of Laurel Grove, Chelmsford, used website MYLOL, which is aimed at teenagers, to approach young girls between September and October 2011.
The taxi driver travelled to a 14-year-old victim’s home in south east London, after meeting her online, and sexually abused her.
Two days later he appeared at her school and she told teachers he was there, but he vanished before police arrived.
After his arrest, police examined his computer and found he had contacted numerous young girls.
One 15-year-old told them Spratt convinced her to engage in sexual activity online, while he performed a sex act on himself.
On March 26, at Croydon Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to four counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, two counts of sexual activity with a child and two counts of penetration of a 14-year-old female.
Spratt was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life and given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for five years.
He was also banned from using the internet to talk with children, communicate with any female under 16 without supervision and to allow the police to examine any device with either internet or digital image storage.
Det Con John Daly of the MPS Sapphire Command said: “Benjamin Spratt is a predatory paedophile who has targeted a vulnerable young girl to satisfy his own sexual needs.
“The MPS is dedicated to protecting the public from sexual predators and encouraging victims to come forward.
“They will be fully supported by specially trained officers.”
Det Insp Keith Ward of the MPS Sapphire Command said: “The victim was targeted, groomed and exploited by Spratt.
“This crime, again, shows how the internet and social media can be used by paedophiles to snare their victims.
“This conviction will provide reassurance that we will relentlessly pursue those who commit these dreadful crimes against children.”