November 2008

Gravesend father-of-four jailed for sex offences

A FATHER has been jailed for nine months after pleading guilty to showing sexual images to children as young as 13.

Alan Read, of Overcliffe, Gravesend, had pleaded guilty to six charges of causing a child to view a sexual act and six charges of making indecent images of a child.

At Maidstone Crown Court on Friday the 40-year-old was sentenced to nine months in prison for using awebcam to cause a 13-year-old girl to watch him performing a sex act on himself.

He was sentenced to six months in prison for the 11 other charges against him, which will run concurrent to the nine month sentence.

Judge James O’Mahony said: “Any member of the public listening to what you have been doing would say you are sick.”

The court heard Read caused children aged between 13 and 15 to view a sexual act on six separate occasions in June 2006 while communicating with them over the internet.

Katie Fox, prosecuting, said Read had contacted the girls through an internet chatroom and then showed them his penis via a webcam and a link to his own website.

Read was arrested in August 2006 after one of the girls, a 14-year-old, told her parents what had happened.

This led to a police search of his home in August 2006 during which his computer was seized.

Police found evidence of his internet conversations with the girls as well as 26 indecent images of children.

A number of the girls were then interviewed by the police, describing their contact with Read, and he admitted the offences, saying he had an attraction to children and needed help.

Harriet Bathurst-Norman, mitigating, said: “Mr Read had no intention to meet up with the girls.

“He did not know where the girls were, did not know them and was many miles away at the other end of an internet connection.”

Judge O’Mahony said the seriousness of Read’s offences made a jail term “the appropriate sentence”.

He also forced Read to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register.

Read is a father-of-four and has supervised access to his children.