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27 October 2014, 13:35
A man who encouraged a woman he met on an internet dating site to abuse two girls has been jailed for 20 years.
Michael Cropton, 42, from Stonehouse in Gloucestershire, committed a series of sexual offences against children in Bristol and Gloucester.
A 39-year-old unnamed woman was also jailed for two years, eight months.
The pair both admitted to one count of conspiracy to sexually assault a child under the age of 13 and arranging/facilitating the commission of a child sex offence.
Cropton also admitted to four counts of rape relating to a boy.
Police say the 42 year old met the woman through an online dating site in 2013 and over a period of time encouraged her to become involved in the sexual abuse of children.
Detective Inspector Gary Stephens, of the Public Protection Unit, said:
''This has been a distressing and harrowing investigation.
''Michael Cropton is a devious and manipulative man who used classic grooming techniques to identify vulnerable children he could abuse.
''He admitted these offences due to the overwhelming evidence against him which resulted from the hard work of the investigation team.
''We believe there could be more victims out there and I hope the outcome of this case will encourage people to come forward and speak to us in confidence.
''I would also appeal to anyone who has been in a relationship with Michael Cropton to please get in touch with us." Find out more here
Both parties in the case were placed on the sex offenders register.
Cropton, himself, will be placed on licence after his sentence, and has also been handed a Sexual Offenders Prevention Order (SOPO) to run indefinitely.