A WESTON man who paid thousands of dollars to watch children being exploited on the internet has been jailed for 16 years.

Sidney Morris, 55, of Brompton Road, appeared in Bristol Crown Court on Monday (April 29), where he pled guilty to 15 counts.

This included:

  • One count of attempting to cause / incite a boy under 13 to engage in sexual activity;
  • One count of attempting to cause / incite a girl aged 13-15 to engage in sexual activity;
  • Seven counts of attempting to arrange / facilitate commission of child sex offence;
  • Three counts of making indecent photos of a child;
  • Three attempts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

Avon and Somerset Police’s Internet Child Abuse Team (ICAT) worked in partnership with North East and the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCU) on the case.

Officers from West Midlands ROCU discovered that Morris was messaging someone he believed to be a young child in June 2022. The conversations were of a sexual nature.

In July of that year, he was arrested at his home address in Weston, where his devices were seized.

In total, Morris had 574 indecent images of children, comprising of 84 category A images (the most serious), 170 category B and 320 category C.

The children in these images were from an Asian country, with some as young as four being sexually exploited.

Officers further discovered that Morris had paid more than $14,000 to people abroad to exploit the children in the photos.

This figure is thought to be higher, since it is believed he was also using other payment channels.

Investigating officer, DC Benn Murphy, said: “Morris poses a very real and significant risk to children.

“He has tried to hide his actions behind the anonymity of the internet and by targeting vulnerable people both in the UK and abroad.

“This should serve as a warning to those who look to exploit or abuse children; there are no safe places to hide.

“The true scale of harm he has caused, is unlikely to ever truly be known but we continue to make every effort to identify and safeguard individuals affected by this investigation.”