Paedophile, 31, who tried to snatch 11-year-old girl off the street after grabbing her arm and whispering to her ‘come with me’ is jailed for ten years

  • Ben Hanger, 31, followed his victim after watching her pass his parked vehicle
  • He grabbed her in January 2021 but she screamed and managed to run away
  • After his arrest police officers discovered child sex images on his computer
  • He was also communicating with an undercover officer about the rape of a child
  • He was given a 10-year prison sentence with a further five years on licence 

A paedophile who tried to snatch an 11-year-old girl off the street after following and grabbing her arm has been jailed for 10 years.

Ben Hanger, 31, attacked the girl in Sheerness, Kent in January 2021, but was arrested after she screamed and ran to her grandmother’s house nearby.

Following his arrest, police revealed he had also been unwittingly communicating with an undercover officer in which he was trying to arrange the rape of a child.

They also discovered he had child sex images on his computer.

Ben Hanger, 31, tried to snatch the girl in Sheerness, Kent in January 2021

Prosecutor Mary Jacobson told Maidstone Crown Court how the victim was walking along Halfway Road in Sheerness in January 2021 when she saw a man at 7.30am.

The girl was walking alone when she passed a parked Vauxhall car in which Hanger was sitting.

The court heard she crossed the road but the man exited the car and followed her, seeming ‘in a hurry’.

The girl slowed her pace at a bus stop to allow him to pass her, but it was then that he grabbed hold of her arm and told her: ‘Come with me’.

Ms Jacobson described the girl’s reaction: ‘The victim screamed at him to get off her, pushed him and managed to run off and she rang her mother.

‘And but for her quick reactions things may have turned out much worse.’

Police trawled through video footage and an officer and the victim were later able to pick out Hanger in an identity parade.

He claimed he had only been trying to steal her phone, but police soon revealed that Hanger had also been in communication with someone he thought was a father of a young baby.

Hanger was sentenced to ten years in prison at Maidstone Crown Court (pictured) and will remain on the sex offenders’ register for life

He had been trying to arrange to meet in order to commit sex acts with the infant. 

But he had actually been communicating with an undercover police officer. 

He admitted possessing child sex images and talking with the undercover officer and is now subject to a 10-year sexual harm prevention order. 

The girl, who has suffered nightmares following the attack, told police: ‘I was happier before.

‘I felt as if I could go outside and ride my bike more often. Now I stay in my room.’

Hanger refused to leave the court cells to listen to the case being outlined against him, telling a security officer: ‘There is no way I am going to come up (to the court).’

In his absence, he received a 15-year extended jail sentence for the attempted kidnapping in January last year.

Hanger was given an immediate 10-year sentence and the judge added another five years which will be served on licence when he is released, after ruling he posed a danger in the future.

Judge Catherine Moore said: ‘Your motivation was sexual and you were trying to put into action your sexual fantasies you had in regard to children.

‘You targeted the child and noted that there were few people around and pursued her.’

The judge said the victim’s family, who attended both the trial and sentencing hearing, had shown ‘great courage and dignity.’

Hanger will remain on the Sex Offenders’ List for life. 

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