A man has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for serious sexual offences against children at Reading Crown Court today (10/4).

Steven Purchase, 36, of Severn Close in Sandhurst, was found guilty by a jury of one count of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

He was found guilty on 21 February after a two week trial at Reading Crown Court.

Purchase had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children.

The sexual activity occurred between June and August 2012 and indecent images were found in April 2013 following examination of items seized from Purchase’s home address.

Purhcase was initially arrested on August 17, 2012 and was subsequently charged on August 16, 2013.

He will be required to register on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

Investigating officer, Detective Inspector Andy Howard of the Child Abuse Investigation Unit said “This is a significant prison sentence which reflects the seriousness of Purchase’s actions and he will rightly now spend a number of years in prison.

“I hope that this sentence provides the victim and her family with a sense of justice and I would like to thank them for their bravery and co-operation throughout this difficult and emotive investigation.

“I would also like to commend the officer in the case, Det Con Eddie Hurley, for his unwavering determination and professionalism to bring this case to justice.

“I hope that this sentence reassures the community that Thames Valley Police treat all allegations of child abuse very seriously and that we work tirelessly to ensure that offenders such as Steven Purchase are brought to justice.”