A PAEDOPHILE travelled from his home in Billericay to Dorset to have sex with a 15-year-old girl he groomed online.
David Havis, of Westbourne Gardens, was jailed for four years when he appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court on Thursday.
The 38-year-old pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of grooming.
In September last year, Havis sent his victim sexual messages via internet chat sites and instant communications app WhatsApp.
Within a short period of time, Havis had travelled to Dorset to meet the girl a hotel where they had sex.
Detectives were alerted to Havis’ activities via social services after the victim told a teacher.
The Force’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) then launched an investigation.
On release from prison, Havis will be given a Sex Offenders’ Prevention Order and placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register.
Detective Sergeant Mark Fursman, of POLIT, said: “The bravery of those making the initial disclosure has resulted in a positive outcome for this case, but more importantly the victim is now safeguarded from further offences.
“I urge all parents and young people to be mindful of their internet activity and how easily social media sites can be manipulated for the purpose of those seeking to offend against children.”
Detective Chief Inspector Chris Naughton, of the Dorset Police Public Protection Unit, added: “These people try to hide what they do online.
“Offenders need to know that the internet is not a safe anonymous space for grooming children.
“They leave a digital footprint and we will find it.
“Abusing children is an abhorrent crime, hidden in society for far too long. We are committed to rooting it out and stopping it.
“Everyone, teachers, GPs, parents and other adults have a responsibility to spot the signs of abuse and act.”