An IT engineer who travelled to London with fruit shoots, sweets and toys for girls he planned to abuse has been jailed. 

Mark Hemus, a 37-year-old with previous convictions for looking at child abuse images, checked in to a Premier Inn where he planned to meet two girls aged 8 and 11. 

He had been discussing his sexual interests with other paedophiles online, including a user who said he had access to the two girls. 

Hemus spoke in detail about what sexual acts he’d like to carry out on the children. 

He was arrested in the foyer of the hotel in Heathrow after arranging to meet there on October 28 last year. 

At first Hemus told police he had travelled to the capital for a medical appointment which was then cancelled. 

Later he admitted he was there to carry out sexual abuse, but he insisted he wouldn’t have gone through with it because he was scared. 

Hemus, from Portishead, has previous convictions for indecent images of children offences in 2005 and 2020, for which he was given a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO).

He was charged with arranging or facilitating the commission of sexual assault of a child, one count of breaching his SHPO and one count of possessing prohibited images of children.

On Friday (October 31) he appeared at Isleworth Crown Court, where he was sentenced to two years in prison and an additional two years on licence. 

News Shopper: Mark HemusMark Hemus (Image: NCA)

National Crime Agency (NCA) senior manager Adam Priestley said: “Hemus’s online chats and the fact he travelled to the hotel showed a clear intention to sexually abuse young girls.

“He is a persistent sexual offender who poses a real threat to children, so this investigation was vital in ensuring he is unable to carry out his intended crimes.

“Disrupting individuals like Hemus is a priority for the NCA and we will continue to do everything we can to protect children from harm.”