A paedophile has been jailed after he used a dating website to get to know a woman then sexually assaulted her daughter.
Gary Fenn, 50, was given a nine-year extended sentence by Judge Shani Barnes, the former honorary recorder of Brighton and Hove.
As she jailed Fenn at Hove Crown Court, Judge Barnes told him that he would spend at least five years in prison and four on extended licence on his release.
The court was told that Fenn, of Saxon Road, Saxmundham, Suffolk, travelled more than 150 miles to Southwick to prey on the young girl, who was under 13.
As well as sexual assault, Fenn was convicted two breaches of sex offender registration notification requirements.
He will continue to be a registered sex offender for life. Judge Barnes also imposed a sexual harm prevention order to last indefinitely, intended to place severe restrictions on his access to children, smart phones and computers.
Detective Constable Emily Turner, from Sussex Police, said: “In June this year, Fenn, already a registered sex offender, previously convicted of offences involving indecent images of children, used a dating website to get to know a woman and travelled to Southwick to meet her.
“He used this opportunity to meet and sexually touch her young daughter. However, the girl quickly escaped the situation and informed her mother who then contacted the police.
“We swiftly investigated and arrested Fenn who was then charged on the authority of the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service). He has been in custody ever since his arrest.”
During the sentencing hearing, on Friday 5 November, Judge Barnes said: “We cannot underestimate the damage caused to the family by Fenn taking this opportunity to offend.”
Detective Constable Turner added: “The bravery of this young lady in standing up against what she knew to be wrong and by supporting this prosecution has undoubtedly kept other children safe from this predatory paedophile who has previous convictions for sexual offending.”
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