A 45 year old man from Quinton has been jailed for grooming girls online. Mark Shortt mistakenly thought that he could remain undetected by targeting children across the Atlantic.
However, his activities were exposed when a mother in Canada reported him to her local police and officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police contacted the West Midlands force with information.
The mother discovered Shortt – posing as a 24 year old – had been exchanging indecent images with her daughter.
After receiving the information, West Midlands Police’s Online Child Sexual Exploitation Team, carried out an investigation into Shortt’s activities.
Shortt was charged with two counts of causing a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity, one count of sexual communication with a child under 13, one count of attempting to cause a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity, two counts of causing a child under 13 to look at an image of sexual activity and one count of attempting to cause a child under 13 to look at an image of sexual activity.
After pleading guilty at Wolverhampton Crown Court, Shortt was sentenced to 40 months in prison on Friday (25th January) and will be placed on the Sex Offender Register for life.
Detective Constable Hazel Steer from the force’s Online Child Sexual Exploitation Team, said: “Shortt thought he was going to get away with these disgusting crimes by targeting children living abroad.
“However, there are no hiding places, we are committed to tracking down sexual predators wherever they are and will work with other forces both in the UK and overseas to do so.”
Visit the CEOP website for advice on online safety or to report abuse.