February 2019

Grays man jailed for making sexual remarks to children online

A man from Grays been jailed for 10 years after breaching a sexual harm prevention order by making sexual remarks to who he believed were children online.

Ben Hicks, 26, of Mill Lane, received 10 years, six to be served in prison and four on licence, for two counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

He received nine month concurrent sentences for three counts of attempting to engage with sexual communication with a child and two and a half concurrent sentences for six counts of attempting to breach a sexual harm prevention order.

The court was told that the children involved were infact adult members of paedophile hunting team ‘Innocent voices’ who pose online as children to catch sexual predators who target kids

Hicks was sentenced at Basildon Crown Court yesterday, Monday, February 26, after admitting the offences at the court on Monday, January 28.

The sentence follows incidents on December 18, Christmas Day and Boxing Day where he made sexual references to girls aged between 10 and 13.

Hicks is subject of a sexual harm prevention order, which was served on him in 2015 and is ongoing for five years. This bans him from contacting a child under the age of 16.

Hicks is also on the sex offender’s register.