September 2015

Pervert (42) jailed after grooming a child on Facebook

eden

An Edenbridge man who posed as a teenager in order to groom a child on Facebook has been jailed for 21 months.

Douglas Warren, 42, formerly of Pine Grove, Edenbridge, exchanged explicit images and videos with his victim on the social networking site and planned to meet her at a hotel.

Warren cancelled the booking when he discovered police were aware of his on-line activity.

He was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday August 25 after admitting four counts relating to child sex offences and eight counts relating to the possession and/or making of indecent images including child abuse images.

In addition to a custodial sentence of 21 months, Warren must also sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

The court heard how Warren claimed to be aged 19 when he first sent his victim a friend request on Facebook in February 2015.

After the request was accepted he sent her explicit images of himself and encouraged her to do the same in return.

He also suggested that they could one day move in together and possibly get married.

Officers seized Warren’s mobile telephone, laptop computer and other devices following his arrest on March 27 and found more than 4,000 child abuse images and 31 extreme pornographic images.

The child abuse images were broken down as follows:

  • Category A – 474 images

  • Category B – 259 images

  • Category C – 3,605 images

Investigating officer Detective Constable Gordon Lindsay said: “Douglas Warren has groomed his victim with the intention of committing sexual offences against her, and it is fortunate for all concerned that he did not go through with his plan to meet with her at a hotel.

“He clearly poses a risk to children, who should be able to use social networking websites without being targeted by people like Warren who exploit them for their own sexual gratification.

“I would strongly advise all parents, grandparents and carers to be aware of what their children are doing online, which includes tablets and smartphones. The internet is a wonderful tool but one that comes with its own set of dangers that everyone needs to be mindful of.”