Man guilty of a child sex offence has sentence increased

A man who was found guilty of a child sex offence and jailed, has had his sentence increased following a hearing at the Criminal Court of Appeal. 

Matthew Millen, aged 44 of Hall Park Avenue, Westcliff-on-sea, Essex, was found guilty by a jury at Southampton Crown Court on the 3 December 2020 of attempting to pay for the sexual services of a child, following an investigation by the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU). 

On 4 December 2020 he was sentenced to three years in jail. 

Following an appeal of the original sentence by SEROCU in conjunction with the CPS, on Wednesday (21/4) a hearing at the court of appeal found, although the correct principles were applied to the initial sentence, the overall sentence was unduly lenient. 

Therefore, the court quashed the original sentence of three years and gave a new sentence of seven years in prison. 

Millen arranged to pay for the sexual abuse of an 11-year-old girl following two weeks of online engagement between 1 and 14 March 2019. 

He travelled from Essex to Southampton and was arrested by SEROCU officers in March and was charged in June 2019. 

In this case, there was never a real-life victim and no children were in any danger. 

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Colin Haynes of SEROCU, said: “The investigation team is very pleased the Court of Appeal has increased Millen’s sentence to seven years, which is significant. 

“Millen thought he was paying for the sexual service of a child that was only 11 years old. 

“This was a successful pro-active operation led by SEROCU officers. 

“Protecting children from sexual exploitation is a continued priority of SEROCU and we will keep bringing those suspected of being involved in these offences through the courts. 

“We are pleased the Court of Appeal made this consideration and granted a longer sentence.”