A PAEDOPHILE has been jailed after being snared by an undercover American police officer.

Douglas Warren, 44, thought he was arranging online to meet up and have sex with a 13-year-old teenage girl.

However, unknown to him, he was in fact talking to a police officer in the US.

The shop worker, of King’s Road, St Leonards, was sentenced to six years imprisonment at Hove Crown Court for multiple child sex offences.

Warren used a number of online accounts and personas to talk with who he thought was a girl and sent indecent images of children that he had sourced from the internet.

He also sent indecent images of himself.

He quickly turned threatening, using one of the accounts to threaten and blackmail who he thought was a teenager in an attempt to get her to share indecent images with him.

The undercover police officer continued to message Warren until he had built up enough evidence against him.

That evidence was then passed on to the Sussex Police Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT).

On May 25 officers executed a warrant at his address and he was arrested.

He was interviewed the same day and admitted the offences.

He has remained in custody throughout the investigation.

Sentencing him, judge Christine Laing said she had no doubt that Warren was a dangerous offender with a high risk of re-offending.

She added that the offence was severely aggravated due to his previous conviction for a similar offence in Kent just two years ago.

She said the only mitigating factor was that he pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

He was also issued with an additional four-year extended prison licence supervision requirement for after his release.

He will be a registered sex offender for life and was issued with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).

This will severely restricting his access to children, computer equipment and the internet. The order will run indefinitely until further court order.

He pleaded guilty to one count of distributing indecent images of children, three counts of making indecent images of children, one count of encouraging the distribution of indecent images of children and one count of attempting to incite a girl aged 13 to 15 to engage in penetrative sexual activity.

Detective Constable Martin Harmer led the investigation.

He said: “Warren was particularly devious and used various tactics to try to manipulate and threaten what he thought was a vulnerable child.

“Unfortunately all too often there is a real child at the end of these conversations but thankfully this was not the case with this investigation. This is a really good example of international working with our American colleagues.

“This type of offending is not restricted by country boundaries and we will continue to work closely with our colleagues around the world to safeguard children and bring these offenders to justice”.