Man who planned 'most appalling abuse imaginable on children' caught in online trap

Man who planned 'most appalling abuse imaginable on children' caught in online trap

A sex offender who conspired with a mother to carry out the "most appalling abuse imaginable" planned to travel to Canada to rape her children, the National Crime Agency (NCA) has said.

Alex Dennis talked to the woman, who he believed to be a mother but who was actually an undercover Canadian police officer, online.

He discussed with her plans to visit the north American country and abuse her children while she watched.

The 37-year-old, who used the online pseudonym Hardatitt, was jailed for two years at Swansea Crown Court in Wales today following an investigation by the NCA.

Dennis, of Pontarddulais, Swansea, asked the officer to show him her children, who were in fact fictional, on a video messaging platform and to let him stay in her house.

The NCA, which coordinated his arrest with South Wales Police, said Dennis admitted in interview that he had visited several chat rooms dedicated to discussing child sex abuse and said he had wiped his mobile phone in order to destroy evidence.

Dennis claimed his plot was a fantasy that he never intended to act on but was convicted on June 2 after a trial of of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence.

Alex Dennis.
Alex Dennis.

NCA intelligence manager Mick Kiernan said the agency's strong links with international partners, in this case the Canadian Police, had allowed officers to identify the risk Dennis posed.

He said: "Dennis thought he was making real plans to commit the most appalling abuse imaginable.

"NCA officers work day in, day out to keep children safe from those who wish to do them harm.

"Anyone intent on abusing children should know there's no safe corner of the internet for them to hide in."

In addition to his custodial sentence, Dennis was made the subject of a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and ordered to sign the sex offenders register.

A spokesman for NSPCC Wales called for Dennis to be given treatment as part of his sentence so that he no longer posed a risk to children when he is released.

He said: "Although the child Dennis was arranging to meet was not real, the danger he poses to young children clearly is.

"If he had been able to fulfil his twisted plans his abuse would have had a devastating effect on his victim.

"Police and crime agencies should be commended for working together to ensure the perpetrators of such abuse are caught before they can carry out their sickening crimes."

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