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New Dorset police unit secures first conviction of paedophile
Updated 1:07pm Wednesday 29th January 2014 in News
A specialist unit of Dorset Police detectives has successfully convicted a paedophile after working with American investigators.
The conviction follows an investigation in conjunction with US Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in London, the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).
Mark Luscombe, 29, was snared after asking an American officer - posing as the father of an 11-year-old girl - to assault his daughter live via webcam for him.
He 'paid' for the request with around 50 images depicting the abuse of children.
Luscombe, of Manor Road in Verwood, also said he wanted to "try a five-year-old".
The officer then alerted police in the UK, who also corresponded with Luscombe.
The defendant, who went under the username BADMOMLOVER, told the British officer that he wanted to abuse his fictional children, who he was told were aged four and six.
He even arranged to meet the children at a branch of McDonald's, but when police feared he was backing out of the meeting, they raided his home in December and arrested him.
He then voluntarily admitted to officers that he had been in a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl from Dorset, and took indecent photographs of her on his mobile phone.
He pleaded guilty to agreeing or facilitating commission of a child sex offence, five counts of distributing indecent photographs of a child, sexual activity with a child, and seven counts of making indecent photographs of a child at a previous hearing at Bournemouth Crown Court.
He also admitted the possession of three extreme pornographic images involving animals and adults today before being sentenced.
The former ground worker, who was applying to join the Royal Navy, was sentenced to a total of five years behind bars this afternoon.
Sentencing, Judge Samuel Wiggs said: "It cannot be said that these offences are out of character because you told police when the investigation was taking place that you were wired differently and had been attracted to children for a considerable length of time."
The Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) is a new team formed within the Child Abuse Investigation Team (CAIT) who work closely with partner agencies and other police forces to identify and prosecute offenders and protect vulnerable children from sexual exploitation.
This follows the success of similar investigative teams across the country.
Detective Chief Inspector Chris Naughton of the Public Protection Unit said: “POLIT are committed to targeting and bringing to justice those in Dorset who are sexually exploiting children over the internet.
“The message is simple and very clear; if you commit these crimes we will hunt you down, arrest you and bring you to justice.”
Matthew J. Etre, attaché for HSI in London, said: “Protecting children from exploitation is one of the most important missions we have and, as this case demonstrates, it takes the collaboration of law enforcement agencies around the world to tackle this crime. HSI is committed to working with partners such as Dorset Police, the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) to arrest individuals who commit such heinous acts and ensure that they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Dorset Police is also urging parents to be aware and alert to the signs of online grooming and abuse.
Parents are encouraged to visit the CEOP website for up-to-date advice on how to keep their children safe online.
Detective Chief Inspector Chris Naughton continued: “I also urge those abusing children to seek professional help from either their GP or another professional organisation such as Stop it Now! or the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.
“Targeting criminals in cyber space and safeguarding children from serious harm remains a priority for Dorset Police in 2014 and beyond.”
The Paedophile Online Investigation Team can be contacted on 101. In an emergency always dial 999.
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