A "DEPRAVED and dangerous" man travelled more than 200 miles to meet and abuse an 11-year-old child in Hampshire.

Jeffery Batty, 50, travelled to Rownham Services, off the M27, from Norfolk with the expectation of meeting and abusing an 11-year-old child in January 2019.

However, upon his arrival he was met and arrested by officers from the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU), who had already been investigating him over a number of months.

Despite being charged with arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence and 11 offences of possession and distribution of indecent images in August 2019, he continued to commit similar offences.

He later arranged meeting with an eight-year-old child after being released on bail.

Batty was again greeted at the arranged meeting point by SEROCU and Norfolk Constabulary officers, and subsequently charged with a further five offences.

These included arranging to meet another child for the purpose of sex, possessing and distributing indecent images and videos of children, and he was remanded.

Batty, of Rectory Road, Edingthorpe, pleaded guilty to 17 charges at a Southampton Crown Court hearing on Thursday, February 20.

He was sentenced to six and a half years imprisonment, with an extended licence period of eight years.

Detective Inspector Phil Attwood, from SEROCU, described Batty as a "clearly depraved, dangerous individual" who was "fully committed" to undertaking abhorrent abuse of children.

He added: “It is only right that he has received a lengthy prison sentence, and I’d like to highlight the work of the investigators involved in this case for ensuring that he was unable to carry out his sordid intentions.

“This investigation forms part of our continued priority to protect children from sexual exploitation from those who seek to do them harm, and I would urge anyone who has information on child abuse or is a victim to report it to your local police force right away via 101.

“We will always follow up allegations of abuse, no matter when they occurred, and victims can talk in confidence to experienced investigators who will help them get access to a range of support.”