A man has been jailed for sexual offences including attempting to pay for sexual services of a child.

Tyrel Benjamin, 25, of Harrow, was arrested on July 3 in central London when he payed £150 to what he believed would allow him to sexually abuse a young child.

The acts breached a 12-month suspended sentence issued at Cardiff Crown Court on May 17, 2018, for possession of indecent images.

On November 15 he was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court to seven years’ imprisonment and a further two years on extended licence after he previously pleaded guilty to attempting to pay for the sexual offences of a child, arranging the commission of a child sex offence, distribution of indecent images and breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Benjamin came to the attention of detectives earlier this year following a covert police operation involving both the Met and South East Regional Organised Crime Unit.

Detective Constable Jonathan Booty, of the Met’s Online Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation team, said: “This sentencing shows that police officers in London and elsewhere in the UK will use a variety of tactics to identify and bring to justice those who seek to abuse children.

“The message to those people is clear, the internet is not a lawless playground where they can seek to live out their sick fantasies. Police officers are working hard 24/7, online and offline to identify and bring to justice sex offenders like Benjamin, and above all to help keep children safe.”

An NSPCC spokesperson also added: “Benjamin is clearly a serious danger to children, and was prepared to pay for the opportunity to inflict appalling abuse on a young victim.

“Cases like this highlight how predators use the internet to act out their depraved desires.

“While prison sentences serve a vital purpose in reflecting the severity of the crime, rehabilitation is also important to help prevent offenders from abusing again. We hope Benjamin receives effective treatment to reduce the risk he may pose to children upon his release.”