British paedophile who paid for abuse images from the Philippines is jailed

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Michael Wilkinson, 36, paid for photos and a video of the abuse to be sent to him. (SWNS)
Michael Wilkinson, 36, paid for photos and a video of the abuse to be sent to him. (SWNS)

A British paedophile who paid predators in the Philippines for images of a child as young as nine being abused has been jailed.

Michael Wilkinson, 36, paid via a third party for photos and a video to be sent to him over the Internet.

Wilkinson used his associates in the Philippines to contact the family of the victim, who is thought to be aged between nine and 12, police said.

He was jailed for six years at Hove Crown Court on 10 November after admitting to inciting and facilitating the sexual exploitation of a child under 13, making indecent images of children and possessing prohibited and extreme images.

Hove , United Kingdom - July 3 , 2016 The Hove Trial Centre's Entrance
Michael Wilkinson, 36, was jailed for six years at Hove Crown Court. (Getty)

Investigators were tipped off Wilkinson was downloading indecent images of children, but when officers raided his home in Bexhill, East Sussex, they discovered the extent of his abuse.

Officers seized his phone and electronic devices as part of the investigation, which began last April.

Detective Constable Richard Gill of the Sussex Police Paedophile Online Investigation Team described Wilkinson as a "predatory offender".

He said: "It became clear that Wilkinson had made contacts in the country whilst backpacking some years ago, and used them to make contact with the family concerned for his own sexual gratification over an extended period.

"We worked very closely with the NCA's international network, who liaised with PICACC [the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Center].

“They were ultimately responsible for tracking down the child in this case and safeguarding her and her sisters.

"This was a great example of inter-agency and international law enforcement co-operation which has reached out across more than 10,000 miles to take action against a predatory offender and safeguard innocent children."

A judge also imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and put Wilkinson on the sex offenders register for life, banning unsupervised access to children and restricting his use of the Internet.

Under the order, he has a five-year travel restriction from the day of his release from prison, which police can apply to renew every five years.

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