Man jailed for trying to arrange sexual abuse of girls and woman

Philippe Campbell, age 45, was jailed for 12 years with an extended period of six years on licence.

Philippe Campbell, age 45, was jailed for 12 years with an extended period of six years on licence. - Credit: Norfolk Police

A man who tried to arrange the sexual abuse of girls and women in an online chatroom has been given an 18 years' extended sentence.

Philippe Campbell, age 45, of King's Lynn, appeared before Norwich Crown Court on Tuesday and was jailed for 12 years with an extended period of six years on licence.

He had previously been found guilty of three counts of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence, and three counts of encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence in King's Lynn between 1 September 2019 and 18 February 2020.

In court, Campbell's behaviour was described by HHJ Holt as "shocking” even in the context of his 40 years' experience of the criminal justice system. "It's hard to think of a more wicked thing to do,” he said.

The sentence follows a  police operation by a Regional Organised Crime Unit, which identified the offending behaviour and then worked with Norfolk Constabulary's Safeguarding Children OnLine Team (SCOLT) to identify Campbell.

Following his identification, Campbell was swiftly arrested, charged and remanded in custody.

During interview at Wymondham Police Investigation Centre, Campbell identified two additional victims whose details he had also shared online. All those identified as being his victims were notified immediately, and safeguarding measures were put in place.

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Det Sgt Jonathan Cotterell of Norfolk's SCOLT team said: "Thankfully, none of these horrific offences that Campbell facilitated and encouraged to happen came to pass, and the victims were not physically harmed.

"However, his offending has had a huge impact on the victims' lives and I want to pay tribute to their strength and resilience.

"Fortunately, offences like these are extremely rare. In this case, the extensive proactive work carried out with our partners, the Regional Organised Crime Unit, allowed us to identify what Campbell was up to and act immediately to stop it from happening and protect the women and children whose details he shared without a second thought for their wellbeing or safety.

"Officers in the SCOLT worked diligently to identify and arrest him and then managed to secure additional information during interview that meant we could identify further victims and make sure they were safe.

"The sentence handed out by the court reflects the extremely serious nature of Campbell's offending and serves as a reminder to other perpetrators that the internet is not an anonymous space; such activity leaves a digital footprint. We will find it and bring offenders to justice.”