A CONVICTED sex offender who police say targets vulnerable teenage girls for his own gratification is back in prison after admitting further offences.

Connor Hayes, 25, was sentenced to a total of 21 months in jail after pleading guilty to two counts of causing or inciting a child aged 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity and causing a child aged 13 to 15 to watch a sexual act.

He was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years and a previous Sexual Harm Prevention Order was extended to 2028 and amended to exclude him contacting girls aged under 16.

Dorset Police said Hayes was jailed for two years in December 2016 after admitting to taking an indecent moving image of a child, possession of indecent images of a child and paying for the sexual services of a child.

He befriended his victim in 2014 when the girl was aged over 16. Although she was over the age of consent she was under 18, making it illegal to make or possess indecent images of her. Hayes and a second man, William Wright of Bovington, got the girl to take part in a sex video claiming it would not be shown to anyone else but was subsequently uploaded to the internet.

Police said it was during the course of this investigation that the offences relating to the most recent convictions were discovered.

At the time of the offences Hayes, of no fixed abode but previously of Bournemouth, was working as a webcam model selling videos and live footage of himself engaging in sexual acts.

In October 2015 Hayes’s computer was seized and examined. Messages were discovered between Hayes and the victim. They were sexual in nature and alluded to the victim being 15. Hayes spoke about loving her and getting a hotel. He also suggested that they could have sex for money when she was 16 or 17.

In September 2015, Hayes sent a link to the victim directing her to a pornographic website. Between 30 August 2015 and 12 October 2015 there were 53 Skype video calls between Hayes and his victim.

When interviewed, the victim told officers Hayes first contacted her in 2014 when she was 14 via Facebook and then Skype. During the Skype videos Hayes asked her to undress and perform sexual acts. Hayes also exposed himself to her.

Hayes was arrested and subsequently charged.

After the sentencing at Bournemouth Crown Court, Detective Constable Mandy Brimicombe, of the Integrated Missing Persons & Child Sexual Exploitation Team (IMPACT), said: “Connor Hayes targets vulnerable teenage girls for his own sexual gratification. He knew full well that his victim on this occasion was under age and that it was a serious criminal offence."

She added: “Nationally, online child grooming offences have increased. This is as a result of more and more young people using social media, but also due to the police and other agencies becoming much better at identifying offenders.

“Many social media platforms work with the police and we regularly receive referrals directly from social media companies to investigate. However, educating young people on internet use is by far the best thing we as a society can do.

“Simple measures such as only allowing children to use devices online with a parent present and not allowing devices to be taken into the bathroom or bedroom would assist in preventing many of these offences.

“Dorset Police has continued to strengthen its response and resource capability to deal with sexual offences against children, with more officers in dedicated teams such as Child Sexual Exploitation, Child Abuse Investigation Team and Paedophile Online Investigation Team. Officers and staff receive specific training to ensure an awareness and understanding of these often complex crimes, which affect some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“There are guides online that can assist parents and provide advice, such as regular checking of phones and devices and putting restrictions on applications that are downloaded to devices.”

For more information visit:

Child online safety advice:

• www.dorset.police.uk

• www.nwgnetwork.org/

• www.barnardos.org.uk

• NSPCC 0808 800 5000, help@nspcc.org.uk, www.nspcc.org.uk/childsexualexploitation

• National Helpline for male victims of CSE 07808 863 662

• UK safer internet centre website. www.saferinternet.org.uk

• CEOP resources suitable for parents and children of different ages: www.thinkuknow.co.uk

• Concerned about your thoughts or behaviour? Visit: www.stopitnow.org.uk

• Child online safety: www.internetmatters.org