A Ramsgate man who encouraged an internet user he believed was a 12-year-old girl to send him sexual images has been jailed following a sting by the Kent Police Paedophile Online Investigation Team .
Tony Harris, 47, used a messaging service to communicate with someone he thought was a vulnerable girl between April and May 2018.
He was in fact sending messages to a member of Kent Police’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team and he was later arrested and charged.
Harris, of Clements Road, admitted three counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and was given a three-year sentence when he appeared at Canterbury Crown Court on Monday (March 16).
Harris told the internet user he was aged 21 and used a profile picture of a younger man before sending sexually explicit videos and images. He received repeated messages informing him that the person he was chatting to was 12, but continued to communicate.
After enquiries were made into who was running his account, police officers arrested him at his home on Wednesday August 1, 2018 and seized his mobile phone. He told officers he did not arrange to meet in person anyone he communicated with online.
Detective Sergeant Jon Baker, Kent Police’s investigating officer, said: “Harris was not discouraged from continuing to ask for sexual material despite clear warnings of the person’s young age.
“The encouragement of children to commit sexual acts online is an offence and we will track down those who do so and bring them to justice.”