Kent Man jailed for chatting on Facebook

27 October 2010, 13:17 | Updated: 27 October 2010, 13:24

A man from Kent's been jailed for 16 months for targetting young girls on Facebook

A 21 year old man has been sentenced today to 16 months imprisonment after pleading guilty to two counts of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child and one count of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Joseph Peacock from Lodge Oak Lane, Tonbridge was charged following reports to police that a man had been contacting young girls on the social networking site Facebook.

The officer in charge of the investigation Detective Constable Mikaela Stevens said: 'Peacock preyed on unsuspecting children, causing them to watch explicit sexual acts for his own gratification.

'This case demonstrates how easy it is for sexual predators to trick children using the internet. It's a clear reminder to people that not everyone on the internet is who they say they are, and may not be using the internet for lawful reasons.'

Officers received reports that a man purporting to be a teenage boy had been approaching young students at schools in the West Kent area. If the young girls had a web cam they were asked to make more direct contact with the person. When the image appeared, they claimed to see an image of an older man performing a sexual act.

Officers launched an investigation and carried out a search warrant at Peacocks home address. Peacock was arrested and charged with engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child. He pleaded guilty to the offence at Sevenoaks Magistrates Court on 7 May 2010.

Officers however continued with their enquiries and established further victims. Peacock was arrested again and charged with additional offences against a further two girls.

During interview Peacock admitted using the pseudonym Carl Sharpe on social networking sites in order to make contact with young girls but denied being sexually attracted to children.

Peacock is required to sign the sex offenders register and upon sentencing was given a sexual offenders prevention order.

You can report any suspicious behaviour to CEOP by adding the ClickCEOP to your Facebook profile

Anyone who has information on this type of crime can ring Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 and

Further internet safety advice can be found on the Kent Police website