Entertainer with Lowestoft links admits internet sex offences

A children's entertainer who committed internet sex offences against young boys he met through his work at holiday parks will be sentenced next month.

Jason Gaunt, 22, was arrested after Surrey Police's paedophile online investigation team probed a series of online-related offences involving children under the age of 16.

He pleaded guilty to 19 offences involving three boys between the ages of 11 and 14 when he appeared at Guildford Crown Court in December and returned for sentencing yesterday.

But after hearing details of the case the judge said he was not prepared to pass sentence until a psychological assessment of Gaunt had taken place.

Ruby Selva, prosecuting, said Gaunt met the first boy while he was working at the Parks Resort site at Kessingland beach, near Lowestoft, between March 2007 and November 2008.

She said there was no evidence any offence was committed by Gaunt when with him but online offences came to light after the boy's mother found out about their web contacts.

Two laptops seized from his home led to the discovery of the offences concerning the two other boys as well as more than 100 indecent images of children, the court heard.

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Gaunt admitted five counts of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, two counts of attempting to engage in sexual activity in the presence of a child, three counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one count of engaging in sexual activity with a child.

He also pleaded guilty to one count of sexual activity with a child, six counts of making and possessing indecent images of a child and one count of attempting to distribute an indecent photo of a child.

In mitigation Kim Jenkins said Gaunt experienced a difficult childhood and had been savaged by a dog at the age of 10, leaving him seriously scarred. He had become increasingly isolated and withdrawn while at secondary school and was bullied.

She described the offences as 'disassociated' from his victims.

Judge Peter Moss adjourned sentencing to March 16 saying he was 'staggered' no psychological or psychiatric assessment had already been carried out.

He said: 'At the age of 22 he is still acting like a 14-year-old. I'm much, much more concerned with the long-term future of this defendant. I do not want him back here. I do not want him to commit any offences again.'

Gaunt, of Leander Close, Walsall, West Midlands, was remanded in custody.