A Birmingham man who groomed teenage girls in Canada online has been jailed for 40 months.

Mark Shortt, aged 45, of Quinton, believed that his actions would remain undetected if he targeted girls living overseas. However, Royal Canadian Mounted Police shared information of his crimes with West Midlands Police.

When the mother of one of the Canadian teenage victims found out that he had been exchanging indecent images with her daughter posing as a 24-year-old, she reported it to her local police. They contacted West Midlands Police’s Online Child Sexual Exploitation Team, who carried out an investigation into Shortt’s activities.

Shortt was charged with two counts of causing a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity, one count of sexual communication with a child under 13, one count of attempting to cause a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity, two counts of causing a child under 13 to look at an image of sexual activity and one count of attempting to cause a child under 13 to look at an image of sexual activity.

Detective Constable Hazel Steer from the force’s Online Child Sexual Exploitation Team, said:

“Shortt thought he was going to get away with these disgusting crimes by targeting children living abroad. 

“However, there are no hiding places, we are committed to tracking down sexual predators wherever they are and will work with other forces both in the UK and overseas to do so.”

Shortt pleaded guilty and was sentenced on Friday 25 January at Wolverhampton Crown Court. He will also be placed on the Sex Offender Register for life.