A man has been sentenced to 28 months in prison for arranging and facilitating the sexual abuse of a child.
Mark Carrington, aged 49, from Radlett, appeared at St Albans Crown Court for sentencing today (Friday, April 1) after previously pleading guilty to:
- Arranging/facilitating the commission of a child sexual offence (one count)
- Making an indecent photograph/pseudo photograph of a child (three counts)
Following his guilty plea in January this year, he was remanded in custody where he has remained ever since.
As part of his sentence, he will have to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years and was issued with a sexual harm prevention order.
He also received six months to run concurrently for three counts of making an indecent photograph/pseudo photograph of a child.
The court heard how an operation carried out by the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (NWROCU) saw an undercover officer engage with Carrington online, before arranging for him to meet another fictional person on the agreement that they would sexually abuse a seven year old girl together.
Carrington was arrested by officers from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Child Online Safeguarding Team in Finchley, London, on Wednesday, January 26, this year.
The court also heard that Carrington was working as a consultant anaesthetist at the Royal Free Hospital in London at the time of his arrest. He was suspended as soon as the hospital’s senior management team was made aware of the incident, and the police investigation found no evidence of the offences being linked to Carrington’s job role.
Detective Sergeant Jim Miller, of the Child Online Safeguarding Team, said: “Carrington’s actions showed he is a serious danger to children as he believed he had arranged a meeting in which he would carry out the sexual abuse of a child.
“What is additionally concerning is that Carrington occupied a great position of trust in his medical role, and although he knew what he was doing was utterly wrong, he carried on.
“Our goal will always be to safeguard children from predators and ensure those who choose to commit these crimes are charged, convicted and jailed so they cannot present a danger to anyone else.
“I’d like to thank the officers from the NWROCU for their guidance and support in what was a partnership approach to capturing an online predator. I would also like to give mention to the team at the Royal Free Hospital, who fully cooperated with the police investigation throughout.”
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Buckthorpe, of the NWROCU, who worked with DS Miller on the investigation, added: “We welcome the sentencing of Mark Carrington and hope that the public feel safer in the knowledge that this sexual predator, who was a significant risk to children, is now behind bars.
“Here at the NWROCU, we work with UK forces, agencies and CEOP (the Child Exploitation Online Protection centre), as well as agencies in other countries which share our desire and determination to protect children from depraved and dangerous offenders such as Carrington. Law enforcement operates across the internet and we will use every tactic and technological advancement available to ensure people cannot and do not get away with the terrible crimes they have committed.
“I would urge anyone who has been a victim of child abuse, or thinks a child is being abused, to contact police immediately on 101, where a report can be made in confidence.”