A sex offender from Canterbury has been jailed for sending sexually explicit messages to a child he thought was just 14 years old.
Nigel Stewart targeted his victim over several weeks, during which he also sent graphic images and requests for the child to perform sex acts.
Stewart, of Gordon Road, commenced conversations with his victim on 13 September 2022, and was made aware of her age on numerous occasions. An investigation by Kent Police’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team secured evidence demonstrating he had intentionally sent indecent messages to an underage girl.
Unbeknown to Stewart, he had been interacting with a fictitious profile and on 18 October, officers carried out a search at his home address. He was arrested and a mobile phone was seized from the scene.
Following a lengthy and complex investigation, the suspect was charged and appeared before Canterbury Crown Court on 8 August 2023, where he pleaded guilty to attempting sexual communication with a child and attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.
Stewart, aged 55, was sentenced to two years and 11 months’ imprisonment at the same court on Tuesday 10 October. He is also subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for the next 10 years.
Detective Inspector Robert Grieve said:
'Stewart aggressively pursued what he thought was a 14-year-old girl, bombarding them with indecent messages. 'Had Stewart successfully made contact with a real child, his actions would have had a long-lasting emotional and psychological impact on them. 'Custodial sentences like this are necessary to prevent people like him from potentially inflicting serious harm on children.'