A 31-year-old man from Stoke-on-Trent has been jailed for child sexual offences after already being subject of a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO).
Matthew Charlesworth, of St Aidan’s Street in Tunstall, was sentenced at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court on Friday (12 March) after admitting three counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and three counts of breaching his previous order.
The court heard how Charlesworth, who had previously been jailed for three years in 2017 for child sexual offences, contacted who he thought were four 14-year-old girls on social media in May 2020.
The girls were in fact adults who later arranged to meet Charlesworth on 11 June.
The police were alerted and seized Charlesworth’s phone before he was arrested a day later.
In interview, Charlesworth denied the communications had been carried out by him and claimed his phone and social media accounts had been hacked.
However, he later admitted the offences and during sentencing, was handed an extended sentence of 32 months’ imprisonment with a further six years on licence.
He was also made subject of a new SHPO which will run indefinitely, has been placed on the sex offenders' register for life and has been barred from activities involving children and vulnerable adults.
PC Kate Parker, of the force’s Sex Offender Management Unit (SOMU) said: "Matthew Charlesworth is a predatory paedophile and I’m reassured that he is now serving a custodial sentence.
"The residents of Staffordshire can rest assured that officers from within the Sex Offender Management Unit will continue to seek out and charge any individuals who pose a risk of sexual harm to members of the public."
If you have been affected by sexual abuse, contact Staffordshire Police on Facebook or Twitter, call 999 in an emergency or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.