Registered sex offender from Portishead jailed for attempting to meet young girls

Mark Hemus has been jailed for two years after trying to arrange to meet young girls at a hotel. Credit: National Crime Agency

A Portishead man who arranged to meet young girls at a hotel so that he could sexually abuse them has been jailed for two years.

Mark Hemus, 37, had been discussing his sexual interest in children with other pedophiles on online chat platforms, messaging with a user who claimed to have access to two girls, eight and 11-year-old.

Hemus showed immediate interest in the children and discussed what sexual acts might be carried out on them before booking a hotel room.

National Crime Agency officers recovered a rucksack from the room, which contained Fruit Shoot drinks, sweets and toys that he planned on giving the girls.

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

The IT engineer from Portishead was initially arrested by National Crime Agency officers in October 2022 after checking into the hotel where he planned to abuse the two girls.

Hemus claimed he had travelled to London on October 28 for a medical appointment which was then cancelled.

He later admitted he’d come to Heathrow to carry out sexual abuse, but said that he would not have gone through with it because he was scared.

Hemus pleaded guilty to 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 at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on 31 October 2022.

On 20 October 2023 at Isleworth Crown Court, he was sentenced to serve two years in prison and two 'on licence' with supervised probation. 

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.”