A pervert who travelled 8,000 miles with a suitcase full of sex toys to meet a 14-year-old British girl he had groomed online has been jailed for 10 years.
Builder Fredis Mata, 25, was arrested on arrival at Gatwick Airport when Border Force officers carrying out routine checks discovered he intended to meet the schoolgirl.
Described as a ‘devious sexual predator’, Mata first told officers he was on his way to visit his 21-year-old girlfriend, but, after further questioning, admitted she was 14.
Searches of his luggage revealed a number of sex toys, ropes and a harness.
Hertfordshire Police found Mata was going to stay at a Premier Inn in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, close to the victim’s address.
They also discovered the victim and Mata had been involved in an online relationship for several months and conversations they had were extremely sexualised.
Following Mata’s sentencing at Lewes Crown Court today, Detective Inspector Andy Richardson said: ‘The online conversations between Mata and his victim were initiated by him.
‘Although the victim was reluctant to engage in them at times, Mata would coerce her into participating in his fantasies through emotional threats and control.
‘The victim was also forced into performing sex acts via video with Mata and his intentions upon meeting the victim were very obvious.
‘Mata is a devious sexual predator who came very close to destroying the life of a vulnerable 14-year-old girl.
‘He was only prevented from doing so by the magnificent work of Border Force officers, who proactively stopped him and referred the case to Sussex Police.
‘I would urge parents to be aware of what their children are doing online as predators do exist and target vulnerable children.
‘What may start off as an innocent encounter can quickly develop into something more sinister.’
Mata, who is of no fixed address, admitted charges of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child and meeting a child following sexual grooming.
He was sentenced to six years in prison, with a further four years on licence.
Emma Porter, Director of Border Force South, added: ‘This was an excellent stop by the Border Force officer on the immigration controls, who quickly assessed that Mata’s case warranted further investigation.
‘That vital intervention was the crucial first step towards bringing a dangerous sexual predator to justice.’