The pervert at the South Pole: Scientist who tried to fix sex with eight-year-old girl on his return is jailed for three years
- Simon Rouen, 36, worked as a lab manager for the British Antarctic Survey
- The scientist sent string of emails to undercover officers in a police sting
- He thought they could arrange for him to abuse a girl but she did not exist
- Rouen was arrested at Heathrow and has now been jailed for three years
Jailed: Simon Rouen tried to arrange to abuse a woman while working at an Antarctic research base
A British scientist working in Antarctica tried to arrange to abuse an eight-year-old girl when he returned from the South Pole.
Simon Rouen, 36, was based at a polar research station when he spelt out his desire in emails to two undercover detectives in a police sting.
He thought his messages were going to another paedophile. The eight-year-old girl did not exist.
Police tracked him down and arrested him when he landed at Heathrow last year as he returned from working with the British Antarctic Survey.
A search of his computer found scores of indecent images of children.
Detective Constable Jo Gordon, of Kent Police, said: ‘Throughout the course of the emails he sent, Simon Rouen demonstrated a very real desire to sexually abuse the child when he returned to England.
‘Fortunately, we were able to identify the risk he posed to children and intercept him before any child could be abused.’ Rouen was found guilty of arranging the facilitation of a child sex offence and ten counts of possessing indecent images of children. He was jailed for three years at Southwark Crown Court.
The laboratory manager, of Redruth, Cornwall, was stationed at the Rothera Research Station, on Adelaide Island, which also serves as the capital of the British Antarctic Territory.
The station has a maximum population of 130 in the summer falling to 22 in the winter. During his six months at the station he exchanged emails with officers from Kent Police’s paedophile online investigation team.
Work: Rouen was based at the Rothera Research Station, where he was a highly skilled lab manager
Base: Rothera is the capital of the British Antarctic Territory and is a major centre of scientific research
His last message was sent from Chile as he flew back from Antarctica last March. His police mugshot shows him with the scraggly beard that he grew while he was working in Antarctica.
Rouen will be subject to a sexual offences prevention order and will be placed on the sex offenders register. DC Gordon said: ‘We will use all the techniques available to us to apprehend people who prey upon children online, and who use the internet as a tool to find children to sexually abuse or to view indecent images of children.’
A spokesman for the British Antarctic Survey confirmed that Rouen previously worked for the company. She said: ‘The matter has been dealt with by the courts and we do not wish to comment any further.’
The BAS has been responsible for the majority of Britain’s scientific research on the Antarctic continent for the past 60 years.