April 2020

Paedophile who abused five children in Tunbridge Wells and Ashford is jailed

A prolific sex offender who sexually assaulted children under the age of 10 has been jailed.

Michael Funnell, of Crownfield Road in Ashford, admitted a number of offences involving five children

The 31-year-old carried out the assaults between 2016 and 2019 in his home town and Tunbridge Wells.

He was subject to two separate police investigations when he was arrested on Friday October 4, 2019.

At Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday, Funnell was convicted of rape, as well as nine counts of sexually assaulting a child.

On top of this, he also pleaded guilty to two counts of making an indecent image of a child after images of abuse were found on his phone.

He also admitted to three counts of breaching a sexual offences prevention order and two counts of failing to comply with notification requirements.

He was jailed for 14 years, with an extended licence period of five years.

Funnell was categorised as a “dangerous offender”, with Judge David Griffith-Jones QC ordering that he serve at least two thirds of his sentence before he can apply for parole.

He was also made subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.