March 2021

Tonbridge sex offender jailed for downloading indecent images of children

A registered sex offender from Tonbridge has been jailed for more than three years after persistently downloading indecent images of children.

Police made unannounced visits to Alex Charlesworth in accordance with the terms of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, under which they had the power to inspect his phone and other computer devices.

On August 12, 2019, officers attended his Hectorage Road home and Charlesworth stated he had mislaid his mobile.

When they rang the number the phone sounded from underneath a chair and was seized. It was found to contain seven indecent images of children, of which one was in the most serious category.

Two further unannounced visits took place later that year and led to the seizure of a tablet and a new phone that contained 153 illegal images, of which five were classified as being in the most serious category.

Charlesworth was arrested last February and bailed while officers built a case.

During this time he carried on offending and a further inspection on September 24 led to the discovery of even more illegal images, this time on another phone.

The 39-year-old was re-arrested and appeared before Maidstone Crown Court, where he pleaded guilty to six counts of making indecent images of a child.

Yesterday, Charlesworth was sentenced to three years and five months in prison. He will also be subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

DI Paul Raines said: “Charlesworth is a repeat offender who was given every opportunity to engage in rehabilitation, whilst being subject to strict court conditions to deter his ability to access illegal images of children.

“In spite of this, he has been unable to stop offending and remains determined to access images of children suffering appalling abuse.

“He must now face the consequences with a prison sentence.”