Men jailed over schoolgirl rape plot

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The Independent Online

A greeting card salesman and two other would-be paedophiles were jailed today after using the internet to hatch a plot to rape two young sisters.







The men - the first convicted of such a serious offence from online exchanges alone - met only after their arrests.

London's Southwark Crown Court was told the fact they had never met did not prevent the trio "drooling" over the possibility of turning sick fantasies into chilling reality.

They even referred to doing a "Holly and Jess" - a harrowing reference to the Soham 10-year-olds brutally murdered by Ian Huntley in 2002.

Police first heard of their twisted plan when "rape obsessed" David Beaven got cold feet, walked into Bournemouth Police Station and told them what had been going on.

Beaven, 42, a greeting card salesman, of Shackleton Square, Bransgore, Hampshire, claimed he was just a "vigilante" gathering evidence against paedophiles but he was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to rape.

Film make-up artist Alan Hedgcock, 41, from River Way, Twickenham, south west London was convicted of conspiracy to rape at an earlier hearing.

Unemployed Robert Mayers, 42, who lived in Brighton Street, Warrington, Cheshire, also denied any wrongdoing but was similarly convicted.







Beaven was given an indeterminate prison sentence with an 11 year tariff.

Hedgcock unsuccessfully argued he was simply the victim of an overactive imagination.

He, too, was given a similar sentence but with an eight year tariff after being found guilty of one of the charges.

Mayers was also given an eight year tariff.

In addition, all three variously admitted 50 sample counts of distributing, making and possessing thousands of indecent images of children.