A paedophile from West Molesey whose behaviour was described as "appalling" has been sentenced to jail.

James Jeffrey, 45, of Cherry Orchard Road, West Molesey was sentenced to five years in prison yesterday (Tuesday, May 11) at Kingston Crown Court, following an investigation by Surrey Police’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team.

After a trial at Kingston Crown Court in March, Jeffrey was found guilty of a number of crimes including sexual communication with a child, causing a child to watch a sexual act and two charges of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

He had previously pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing an extreme pornographic image.

Jeffrey was also given an "indefinite" sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) by the court.

The investigation into his crimes began after Surrey Police received a tip off regarding an email address that was being used to post indecent videos of children to an online chat group.

The email was traced to Jeffrey and he was arrested while at work, with officers seizing three mobile phones from his home.

Though he failed to provide the correct pin code to access the devices, police managed to do so in time with assistance from a 'forensics lab'.

They found a series of explicit WhatsApp and Facebook messenger chats on one of the devices between Jeffrey and a 14-year-old girl.

Investigating officer Detective Sergeant James Tibbs from the force’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team said:

"The victim has shown incredible bravery and determination in helping us with our investigation.

"I sincerely hope she and her family can move on from this and that Jeffrey being behind bars for what he has done helps them do that.

"Jeffrey is clearly a predatory and manipulative paedophile and it has taken time to get to this point so it’s extremely satisfying to see him sentenced.

"Surrey Police is committed to fully investigating all offences of this nature and will always follow every line of enquiry to ensure that suspects are identified, located and brought to justice.

"Providing a fake PIN like Jeffrey did may delay our investigative work briefly but he was naïve if he thought this was enough to stop us investigating such an appalling crime."

The NSPCC also commented on the case and praised the victim's bravery during the trial.

"Thanks to the bravery shown by this survivor of child sexual abuse, Jeffrey is now facing justice for his appalling behaviour.

"It is imperative that our children’s online world is as safe as possible.

"Jeffrey’s actions show the urgent need for an Online Safety Bill which is robust enough to detect and prevent this abuse, and impose legal sanctions on tech firm directors whose companies fail to meet their duty of care and stop this vile trade in the first place.

"The NSPCC will continue to push the Government to ensure this Bill is fit for purpose," a spokesperson said.