South East Wales

'Sexual predator' Jason Benger caught by online trap

Jason Benger Image copyright Gwent Police

A paedophile has been jailed after posting explicit messages to fake accounts set up by a group targeting sex offenders in south Wales.

Jason Benger, 48, was told he was "a danger to young girls" and given a two-and-a-half year prison term.

Newport Crown Court heard he sent messages to girls he thought were aged 11, 12 and 14.

Benger, from Abertillery, Blaenau Gwent, admitted attempting to incite children in sexual activity.

The court was told Benger made contact with one online account he believed belonged to a 12-year-old called Jessie on "almost a daily basis", sending sexual photographs and asking the girl to meet him for sex.

However, the accounts belonged to adults hoping to snare Benger, and details of the conversations were passed to the police.

He claimed he had been "living in a fantasy world" when he made the comments.

'Abusive' behaviour

Judge Daniel Williams said: "He attempted to incite children as young as 11 to engage in sexual activity. That's not, by definition, a fantasy. So he wasn't operating in a fantasy world."

He said the offences indicated "predatory and abusive" behaviour and added: "What is clear is that you were spending, over a period of six months, a lot of time at home on your computer trying to make contact with young girls."

Benger admitted six charges against him.

In addition to being jailed, a sexual harm prevention order was made against him, and he was ordered to sign the sex offender's register for life.