April 2021

Snodland man jailed after planning to meet child for sex

A Snodland man who used mobile phone apps in attempts to groom a child for sex has been jailed.

Reece Cano, 29, repeatedly sought indecent images of a child he believed was only 12 years old and then arranged to meet her in order to carry out abuse, a court heard.

Between September 19 and October 11, Cano accessed dating and instant messaging apps to contact another user who posted as a juvenile.

Despite her sending several replies stating she was only 12, he used the online exchanges to try to entice her into sexual activity and to send him illegal images.

Cano’s messages contained a series of explicit demands and included suggestions of meeting in a hotel.

During October, he made preparations to meet the child at “a quiet location” in the Snodland area, where he planned to abuse her.

But unbeknown to him, the ‘child’ was actually a police officer and he was arrested after a search warrant was executed at his home on October 11.

The search led to the discovery of a mobile phone in an airing cupboard, which provided evidence of the online conversations.

Cano was charged with two counts of attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity, attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and with arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence.

He was further charged with breaching a sexual harm prevention order (which had been imposed in 2019 following previous and unrelated convictions for sex offences), and failure to comply with notification requirements.

Cano pleaded guilty to all charges when he appeared before Maidstone Crown Court.

He was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment, with an extended licence period of a further four years

Cano was categorised by the court as “dangerous” and will be required to serve at least two thirds of the sentence before he can be considered for parole.

He was also made subject of a sexual harm prevention order and added to the sex offenders register indefinitely.