A MAN who had sex with a 12-year-old girl he met online has been jailed.

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Leigh Arendse, 25, of Brunswick Park Road, London, arranged to meet up with the girl in Ely after meeting her in an online chat room.

He told her he was 20 and she had claimed to be 14 in their conversations, which moved to daily texting and phone calls.

They met on August 28, last year, at Ely railway station, before going back to her home where he hid in her bedroom.

He stayed hidden in the room until August 30. The victim tried to travel to London with Arendse but after discovering she was 12, he spoke to a ticket officer at King’s Cross and her mother was called.

She told her mother that they had had sex.

Arendse was arrested and pleaded guilty to rape of a girl under 13. He was jailed for four years at Cambridge Crown Court on Monday (January 21).

He was also placed on the sex offenders’ register and given a sexual offences prevention order which bans him from: having unsupervised contact with children under 16; possessing any device capable of accessing the internet unless it retains and displays history; deleting such history.

Detective Constable Andy MacDonald said: “Arendse was clearly aware that the girl in this case was underage but continued his contact with her and arranged to meet up.

“He had plenty of opportunities to stop the relationship but choose to travel to Ely to meet her to have sex.

“This case shows the dangers of using online chat rooms and how easily perpetrators can gain the confidence of young people in order to exploit them.”

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