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Home COURT After being found guilty of numerous sexual communication with a child offences, a 60-year-old man from Totton was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years

After being found guilty of numerous sexual communication with a child offences, a 60-year-old man from Totton was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years

 

Mark Anthony Mengham, 60, of Alfred Close in Totton, was sentenced today (Friday 10 June) at Southampton Crown Court for engaging in sexual communication with a child in the Totton area between December 2020 and January 2021.

The court heard that over a few weeks, Mengham exchanged messages, many of which were highly sexual in nature, with a child who repeatedly stated that they were 13 years old – though the victim in this case was not real.

On Friday, January 15, 2021, Mark Mengham was arrested and charged with attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, attempting to cause or incite a female child under 13 to engage in non-penetrative sexual activity, and attempting to cause a child aged 13 to 15 to view images of sexual activity.

Following his appearance at Southampton Crown Court, the judge sentenced Mark Mengham to nine months in prison, suspended for two years, after he faced charges of attempted sexual communication with a child and attempting to cause a child to witness a sexual act.

Mengham was also sentenced to five years on the Sex Offenders Register, five years on a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, and 40 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days. In addition, he was ordered to pay a victim surcharge and court costs.

Following the sentencing, Detective Constable Paul Hills stated, “In a world where people have the ability to exchange messages with people across the country unknown to them, and further afield, with relative ease, it is vital that we, as the police, are in a position to investigate if we believe that criminal offences have occurred during these exchanges.”

“We want to continue to protect vulnerable people, including young children, from potential sexual exploitation, and I hope that this conviction demonstrates the lengths to which we will go to investigate any such claims.”

“We hope that today’s sentencing highlights the dangers that can lurk on social media when engaging with strangers.”

“This case serves as a reminder, as well as an alert to parents of young children, that the digital world is not all that it appears to be.” People may appear to be exchanging messages innocuously at first, but this can quickly change, leading to often dark, often sexualized conversations and messages.

“We want to encourage all victims of child sexual abuse, regardless of age, to come forward and speak with us.”

Hampshire Constabulary takes allegations of this nature very seriously and will always seek to bring those responsible for these crimes to justice.

“We would encourage anyone who has been a victim of child sexual abuse to call 101 and speak with one of our specialist detectives in confidence.”

If you are concerned about a child’s behaviour, whether in person or online, or if you are unsure, you can speak to trained professionals who may be able to assist you; as they may be at risk of child sexual exploitation.

Remind children that while people they meet online may seem like friends, they may not be who they claim to be. It is always worthwhile to review what apps they are using, as well as the parental controls and privacy settings on devices, mobile apps, and social media networks that they may use.

If you believe a child is in immediate danger, dial 999.

You can also get anonymous help from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation or call the Stop It Now! helpline at 0808 1000 900.

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