A MAN who travelled to Reading with the intention of raping two children has been thrown behind bars for eight years.

Shahmaan Ahmed, of Roman Road, London, believed the children to be three and eight years old when he travelled from the capital in August 2020 and even bought sweets for the youngsters.

The children were not real, but Ahmed, who also brought 'sexual item' with him to the meeting, was arrested by officers from Thames Valley’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team.

He was sentenced to eight years in jail after being found guilty of child sex offences by a jury back in February.

During the trial, Ahmed tried to convince the jury that he was attempting to expose other people involved in sexual exploitation, however the jury unanimously found Ahmed guilty of all four counts.

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DC Nick Hook, from TVP’s paedophile investigation team, said: “Ahmed was armed with excuses when he was arrested and throughout his trial.

“However, the evidence was overwhelming and the jury saw through his feeble attempts to convince them he was in fact a ‘good guy’ trying to expose others involved in the sexual abuse of children.

Reading Chronicle: Shahmaan Ahmed via TVPShahmaan Ahmed via TVP

“Ahmed’s intensions were clear, he went to Reading that day in the belief that he was going to abuse children.

“A particularly distressing part of this case is that he brought sweets with him as gifts for the children he believed he was there to abuse, the youngest being just three years old.

“It is important to acknowledge that these children were not real and on this occasion Ahmed was not posing a danger to any children when he travelled to Reading.

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“This is a very distressing case and I understand it could cause some concerns in the community, but we will always thoroughly investigate reports of this nature.

“If you are concerned about someone’s behaviour or you think you might have information which could help an investigation like this one, please contact your local police force on 101.”

Ahmed, aged 29, was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Wednesday, June 16.

Detective Lisa Heaton, from the South East’s regional organised crime unit, added: “SEROCU is committed to working with local forces to continue to protect children from sexual exploitation.

“There are consistently a variety of operations ongoing across the country to disrupt child sexual offences and we will keep investigating in order to safeguard children and ensure there is no place people feel they can pursue criminality against the most vulnerable.

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“Your excuses will be exposed and the evidence gathered, as in this case, will be used to convict you.

“If you feel you need help or would like to report suspicious or concerning behaviour online please call 101 and talk to your local force. You can also contact the Lucy Faithful Foundation for anonymous support and can use the Stop It Now! helpline on 0808 1000 900.

“We will always follow up allegations and enforcement agencies will keep working together to bring to justice individuals who use the internet to facilitate the abuse of children.”

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