A QUICK-THINKING police community support officer helped stop a convicted paedophile from abusing a child.
Daniel Salmon had groomed the girl on Facebook before arranging to meet up.
But when he took her to a park the passing female PCSO spotted them and recognised Salmon, who has a previous conviction for child sex offences.
She spoke to the pair and Salmon’s plot to abuse the girl was uncovered.
A judge at Portsmouth Crown Court said it was lucky she intervened as matters could have got much worse.
Detective Constable Ben Hibberd, from the public protection unit, praised the officer, saying: ‘It shows that working within the community PCSOs, are our eyes and ears on the street.
‘Without that PCSO’s awareness of this person and intervention he could have been left to continue his offending and a more serious offence could have happened.’
Salmon sent explicit emails to the 13-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, despite knowing she was under-age.
They met up in May when the 20-year-old planned to abuse her.
But after the officer interrupted their meeting Salmon went home and sent the girl a message, threatening her not to talk to the police.
He wrote: ‘You try anything, I know people, I will find out where you live.
‘Pretend you never met me otherwise you will not like what I’m capable of.’
Salmon, of Biddlecombe Close, Gosport, pleaded guilty to meeting a child following sexual grooming and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
The court heard that in 2010 he was given a suspended prison sentence for inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity.
Daniel Reilly, defending, said Salmon had gone to a special school and did not have any qualifications.
‘There’s a lack in terms of the capability in judging for himself the consequences of his actions,’ he said.
‘He understands and accepts that it’s going to be a custodial sentence.’
Sentencing him to a year and eight months in a young offenders’ institution Recorder Nicholas Haggan QC said: ‘It’s perfectly clear that you were grooming this young girl with a view to having sex with her.
‘The messages that you sent her were completely explicit.
‘You arranged to meet her and you met her. Fortunately your meeting with her was seen by a police community support officer who was suspicious.
‘That officer intervened and as a result matters did not go any further but they went a long way down the road.’
The judge was given a psychologist’s report and a pre-sentence report on Salmon, which described him as posing a high risk of harm to young girls.
‘The only appropriate sentence that I can pass is a sentence of detention in a young offenders’ institute,’ Recorder Haggan said.
Salmon was banned from working with children and will have to be on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years. The judge also made a sexual offences prevention order restricting his use of the internet and banning him from contacting anyone under the age of 16 online.