AN IT engineer from Portishead who arranged to meet young girls at an airport hotel so that he could sexually abuse them has been jailed for two years, the National Crime Agency writes.

Mark Hemus, 37, from Portishead, was arrested by National Crime Agency officers in October last year after checking in to the hotel where he planned to abuse the two girls.

Prior to his arrest, he had been discussing his sexual interest in children with other paedophiles on a number of online chat platforms. Using a pseudonym, he messaged a user who said he had access to two girls, aged eight and 11. 

He spoke intimately to his online contact about the children and what sexual acts could be carried out on them.

They arranged to meet at the Premier Inn Hotel at Heathrow Terminal 4 on 28 October last year and Hemus booked a room.

Hemus was arrested by NCA officers in the foyer of the hotel after he had checked in. Officers recovered a rucksack from his hotel room, which contained Fruit Shoot drinks, sweets and toys that he planned on giving the girls.

Hemus has previous convictions for indecent images of children offences in 2005 and 2020, and is currently subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) banning him from using false IP addresses, names or aliases while using the internet. 

When interviewed, Hemus said he had travelled to London for a medical appointment which was then cancelled.

However, he later admitted he’d come to Heathrow to carry out sexual abuse but claimed that he wouldn’t have gone through with it as he was scared. 

Hemus was charged with one count of 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.

He pleaded guilty at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on October 31 last year. 

Yesterday (October 20) at Isleworth Crown Court he was sentenced to four years - two in prison and two on licence.

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.”