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8 June 2018, 16:13 | Updated: 8 June 2018, 16:25
63 year old Stephen Merrett from Weston-super-Mare has been jailed for more than 13 years for sexually abusing a child.
He was arrested in March during an investigation into a group of people who were creating and sharing indecent images of children online.
Avon and Somerset Police worked with several other forces on this investigation.
As it progressed, they found out Merrett was abusing a child.
He admitted 12 counts of sex offences, including rape, sexual assault and causing/inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, as well as six counts of making/distributing indecent images of children.
He was sentenced to 13 years and four months in prison and an extended licence period of six years and eight months. He will also be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
Detective Superintendent Matthew Shaw said: “Stephen Merrett is a dangerous and predatory man who’s been convicted of some truly abhorrent offences. The wider police investigation into the sharing and distributing of indecent images led to Merrett’s arrest and from this we were able to identify a young child he was abusing. Along with our partner agencies, we took immediate steps to protect the child from further harm. The victim and their family continue to be supported by trained professionals. This conviction shows the effectiveness of cross-border policing and is a testament to the hard work of the officers in the case, DC Kelly-Ann Holdsworth and DC Claire Millington.”