Warwick girl's brave testimony helps put 'dangerous' child predator behind bars

“All of us at Warwickshire Police are so proud of the girl for her courage.”
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Detectives have praised the bravery of a girl from Warwick whose statements have seen a predator from Kent jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Johnathon Marren, aged 26, started talking to the young teenage girl online in December of 2020.

What followed was weeks of grooming, whereby Marren talked sexually, sent explicit photos and even sent a list of ‘rules’ to try to control the victim.

Johnathon Marren has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.Johnathon Marren has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.
Johnathon Marren has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Then, in January 2021, the victim approached the police with the support of her family.

Thanks to the bravery of the victim, detectives were able to build a robust case against Marren, who was subsequently arrested.

On January 24, when detectives interviewed him, he remained silent – and only surrendered passwords to his electronic devices when he was warned it was an offence to not do so.

Marren was subsequently charged with attempting to incite a girl to engage in sexual activity, causing a child to view images of sexual activity, possessing indecent photographs and attempting to meet a girl following grooming.

And on September 13, at Warwick Crown Court, he was sentenced to 54 months in prison.

Detective Constable Emma Smith said: “Marren is a dangerous predator who sought out a young girl in the hopes of completely controlling her.

“So appalling was his attitude, he believed he could even send a list of ‘rules’ that his victim must follow.

“He was quite happy to bombard a child with thousands of appalling messages but he had nothing to say for himself when my colleague and I brought him in for interview.

“All of us at Warwickshire Police are so proud of the girl for her courage. Thanks to her bravery, and the support of her family, we have been able to gather enough evidence to see the court take Marren off the streets.

“I hope this can serve as a message to other young people who might find themselves in this situation. We will listen and we will help.”

Anyone wishing to speak to the police can contact them on 101. Alternatively, you an speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or go online at https://crimestoppers-uk.org