A Hastings man is starting a prison sentence after international police co-operation uncovered his role in encouraging a man in the United States to commit sexual offences against a baby boy over the Internet.
Alan Hess, 44, unemployed, of Pelham Crescent, Hastings, was sentenced to three years and nine months in jail when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Friday (August 10).
He had been found guilty at Hove Crown Court on June 4 after a trial, on three counts of making indecent images of children; and three counts of arranging or facilitating a sex offence against a child under 13.
Hess will be a registered sex offender for life and was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) severely restricting his access to computers and children under 16.
Investigator Dave Sharpe of the Sussex Police Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) said; “This appalling offending by Hess was uncovered through joint working between ourselves, the UK National Crime Agency (NCA) and the FBI in the United States.
“We received intelligence that Hess had indecent images of children from the Internet, and as a result discovered he was in contact with a man in the United States.
“The FBI was alerted that the man, in Utah, was engaging in web-chat with Hess and had been online with him over many hours, with Hess encouraging and watching him sexually abuse the boy.
“We can only imagine the humiliation inflicted on this helpless child, with Hess’s encouragement purely for his own sexual gratification.
“Law enforcement world-wide is taking action against online offending of this type and we ask anyone who has suspicions about anyone engaged in it to contact us.
“You can contact us online or by calling 101, and arrange to speak in confidence to experienced investigators.”
For further information and advice on child protection see the Sussex Police website here.
The US offender was sentenced to a total of 25 years imprisonment – 15 years for offences against the child and ten years for possession of indecent images of children.