A VILE paedophile has been locked up before he could use the UK as his “new hunting ground”.

Keith Banks was deported from Australia back to the UK - where he was born - in October last year, having served jail time there for child sex offences.

He was subject of sexual harm and prevention order when he arrived in the UK, but despite this, even before his return he was messaging who he thought were two parents, to arrange sexual activity with their ten-year-old daughter.

However, Banks was actually talking to two police officers, who arrested him after they set up a meeting at a pub in Rayleigh in November last year.

The 62-year-old was sentenced on Tuesday at Basildon Crown Court for facilitating the commission of a child sex offence and breaching his sexual harm prevention order.

Judge Andrew Hurst told Banks: “On September 26, whilst awaiting deportation in Australia, you had access to the internet and were contacting two people claiming to be the parents of a ten-year-old girl, and quickly you were able to establish you had sexual interests in children. This happened before you even left Australia.

“You arrived in England in October. It seems to me that you intended to pursue sexual offending against children. You regarded the UK as your new hunting ground before you even left Australia.”

Judge Hurst said that conversations between Banks and the officers had lasted for three weeks, where they had discussed fantasies of performing sex acts on the girl, referred to as “Gracie”.

Mitigating, Nick Bonehill said: “He has made full admissions to all offences.

“The support he had from his family and friends has now ended and as a result of his actions he will have to start his life afresh without that support in place.”

Mr Bonehill also said that there was no actual victim in the case.

Judge Hurst continued: “I have no doubt that you would have gone through with sex with her and two other adults. “You brought a soft toy with you for the ten-year-old girl.

“You were willing and intended to take her virginity. I have no hesitation in finding you dangerous.

“You were not remotely looking for a fresh start and keeping your desires at bay.”

Banks, of Wick Lane, London, was jailed for six years and must serve at least eight years on licence after his release.