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King's Lynn man given extended 18-year sentence for attempting to arrange sexual abuse of girls and women in online chatroom

A Lynn man who sought to arrange the sexual abuse of women and girls in an online chatroom has been given an extended 18-year sentence.

Police say the "digital footprint" left by offenders like Phillippe Campbell means they can, and will, be brought to justice.

Campbell, 45, was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court yesterday, having previously been convicted on three counts of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence.

Philippe Campbell (44156438)
Philippe Campbell (44156438)

He was also found guilty on three charges of encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence. All the offences occurred in Lynn between September 1, 2019, and February 18 last year.

Campbell was sentenced to 12 years in jail, plus a further six years on licence.

Passing sentence, Judge Stephen Holt described Campbell's behaviour as "shocking” even in the context of his 40 years' experience of the criminal justice system.

"It's hard to think of a more wicked thing to do,” he said.

The case was brought following a joint operation between a Regional Organised Crime Unit, which identified the offending behaviour and Norfolk Police's Safeguarding Children Online Team (SCOLT), who identified Campbell.

During an interview following his arrest, Campbell identified two victims whose details he had shared online. All those identified as being his victims were notified immediately, and safeguarding measures were put in place.

Following the sentencing, Det Sgt Jonathan Cotterell of the SCOLT team, said: "Thankfully, none of these horrific offences that Campbell facilitated and encouraged to happen came to pass, and the victims were not physically harmed.

"However, his offending has had a huge impact on the victims' lives and I want to pay tribute to their strength and resilience.

"Fortunately, offences like these are extremely rare. In this case, the extensive proactive work carried out with our partners, the Regional Organised Crime Unit, allowed us to identify what Campbell was up to and act immediately to stop it from happening and protect the women and children whose details he shared without a second thought for their wellbeing or safety.

"Officers in the SCOLT worked diligently to identify and arrest him and then managed to secure additional information during interview that meant we could identify further victims and make sure they were safe.

"The sentence handed out by the court reflects the extremely serious nature of Campbell's offending and serves as a reminder to other perpetrators that the internet is not an anonymous space; such activity leaves a digital footprint. We will find it and bring offenders to justice.”

For further advice and support in relation online child sexual offences visit ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/ or http://www.stopitnow.org.uk/

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