AN EVESHAM man has been jailed for more than five years after pleading guilty to a string of charges including the ‘horrific’ sexual assault of a child under 13 years-old.
Christopher Michael Pennington, 39, from Aldington, was sentenced at Worcester Crown Court today to five years and nine months in prison after he pleaded guilty to six charges involving the sexual abuse of children.
Pennington pled guilty to the sexual assault of a child under 13 years, attempting to arrange a meeting with the intention of sexually assaulting a child, possessing indecent images of children, and distributing an indecent image of a child.
As well as his prison sentence, he has also been placed on the sex offender register for the rest of his life and has been made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order until further notice.
Pennington was arrested by officers from the Operation Safenet team – specialist officers who investigate those involved in online child sexual exploitation within West Mercia.
Det Insp Gavin Kinrade said: “I hope that this result gives a clear warning to other offenders that we are absolutely committed to protecting children from sexual abuse and online child sexual exploitation.
“Tackling child sexual exploitation remains a priority for West Mercia Police and we remain steadfast in our commitment to preventing children being abused and exploited, to bring to justice to all those who commit such horrific crimes and to ensure that the public are confident that they can come forward and talk to us about their concerns for a child’s safety.
“We understand that cases such as this can cause people within the community concern, particularly parents. We would like to offer reassurance that we are committed to doing everything within our power to protect children and vulnerable people.
“I encourage anyone who has concerns that a child might be a victim of child sexual exploitation or abuse to call us on 101.
“Specialist officers, working together in partnership with support agencies across our region, are here to listen, to investigate and to bring perpetrators of these horrific crimes before the courts.”