Mid Wales

'Highly predatory' sex offender Mark Owen jailed

Mark Owen Image copyright Dyfed-Powys Police

A "highly predatory" offender has been jailed after admitting sexual activity with a young girl from Powys.

Mark Owen, 49, contacted the 14-year-old over the internet and exchanged more than 1,400 messages.

Swansea Crown Court heard he met up with her at Machynlleth railway station and planned sexual activity with her.

Owen, from Caerphilly, was on licence from prison at the time for previous sex offences against underage girls.

The girl's mother examined her daughter's mobile phone and was "horrified and alarmed" to discover the messages.

One revealed Owen's plans to have sex with her in the woods, and he even asked "how many babies would she want?"

Image copyright Google
Image caption Mark Owen met the girl at Machynlleth railway station

On 26 September 2015, the day Owen travelled to meet the girl in Machynlleth, they had communicated on 161 occasions.

The court heard there was no sexual activity that day, but more arrangements had been made to meet up.

Owen initially denied contacting the girl, but a hand writing expert proved he had written a letter to her asking for photographs.

He admitted sexual activity with a girl under 16, breaching the terms of his licence from prison and a sexual harm prevention order.

Sentencing Owen to jail for nine and a half years, Judge Peter Heywood told him: "You are highly predatory and have a deviant interest in young girls."