Alastair Hodge, 28, of Condor Boulevard, Shortstown, was sentenced at Luton Crown Court today (Thursday) after pleading guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children and two separate charges of causing and inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.
Hodge was arrested after the victim’s parent discovered messages of a sexual nature sent by him to the child, in which he groomed her and encouraged her to send him indecent images of herself.
Officers from Bedfordshire Police then executed a search warrant at Hodge’s home and seized a number of phones and computer devices. Digital forensics officers carried out examinations on the items and found multiple indecent images of several children.
Investigation Officer Amanda Dickson, from the Internet Child Abuse Investigation Team (ICAIT), said: “Hodge’s computer devices contained images from the most severe category of child sexual abuse and there is no doubt that he is a dangerous sexual predator, so I am pleased he has received such a lengthy sentence for these sickening crimes.
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“He took advantage of a young girl, grooming her via messaging apps and intentionally inciting her to engage in sexual activity, as well as encouraging her to send indecent images of herself to him which he added to his sickening collection.
“Online child sex abuse is not victimless – it causes severe harm to the children involved and is likely to have a lasting impact on them. We absolutely will not tolerate this and we are committed to tackling those responsible and bringing them to justice so that they cannot inflict their abuse on anyone else.”