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Sexual predator exposed by Close Up sentenced

Published: 8:19PM Monday September 17, 2012 Source: ONE News

A sexual predator caught by TV ONE's Close Up targeting teenage girls on the internet has today been sentenced to community service and banned from owning a computer.

Married catering worker, Paul Dymond, was among the most aggressive paedophile's caught in a Close Up investigation into online predators earlier this year.

Back in January the programme exposed how young girls were being targeted in New Zealand, but until now has not been able to disclose the worst of what was uncovered.

Now, with a police investigation complete, ONE News can reveal the full extent of the disturbing interaction.

"He (Dymond) stood out from day one because he was very, very sexually explicit," said Close Up producer Chris Lynch .

During the investigation, Lynch posed as a 14-year-old girl online, and chatted to Dymond and other male predators.

"They weren't just wanting to strike up a conversation with a teenage girl, their intentions were very clear," he said.

"Without prompting at all he (Dymond) would go on to his webcam and start exposing himself to the so-called 14-year-old girl, which, as we now know, is in fact a crime.

"This included sending photos to our fake cellphone that we set up from Close Up as well.

"And there were at least two or three photos he had sent me of his of genitalia."

Close Up set up meetings with several of the men who showed an interest, but were stopped from meeting Dymond by the police.

On the day the investigating team were due to go to the fake meeting, they received a phonecall which explained the police were also investigating him after also posing as a teenage girl online and receiving the same sexually explicit response.

"It was all set to go, then the day that we were supposed to meet this particular gentleman I received a call from police national headquarters," said Lynch.

"They said an arrest of this man was imminent, and that it would be in our best interests to pull back and allow police to do their work."

Predator in court

Today Dymond appeared in court.

He was given 250 hours of community service, a two year intensive supervision order and a ban on owning a computer and accessing the internet.

His sentence was reduced from a possible three year jail term after an early guilty plea.

Allowances were also made for a psychological report, and because, this time, his victims were not real.

"I have to express society's general abhorrence and condemnation for this type of activity, which putting it mildly, would have to be regarded as deviant," said Judge C S Blackie, during his sentencing today.

"Had this conduct been allowed to continue, and actual victims been the subject of complaint to the court, then of course the penalties which the court would impose would be likely to be far higher."

Police forensic analyst, Matt Taylor, said online predators are taken very seriously in the eyes of the law.

"It is definitely treated seriously, and is a high priority in our office," he said.

"It is very common, we went through a period last year where we were receiving one victim every week."

He said parents need to be more aware of what their children are doing on the internet.

"Teenagers have internet access in the bedroom, the parents are allowing a stranger into their child's bedroom, and parents have no idea what's going on," he said.

"If parents are going to allow internet access in the bedroom it needs to be curfewed.

"It might start off as something exciting and mysterious, where they (the teenager) can tell a stranger all their secrets, but then they find themselves entrapped and out of their depths very quickly."

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