Ashford paedophile jailed

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Sex offender who brought toys and sweets to give to young girls he wanted to abuse is jailed

A sex offender who arranged to abuse two girls was arrested with bags of toys and sweets that he intended to give to his victims.

Martin Freeman, 51, formerly of Oakenpole, Ashford admitted two counts of arranging the commission of a child sex offence when he appeared before Canterbury Crown Court in August this year. He was remanded in custody and was sentenced to 6-years imprisonment on Monday, 9 December 2019.

In late July Freeman began online private conversation with a man called Tom he met in a chatroom. He entered into sexually explicit conversations with Tom who told Freeman he had two nieces aged 3 and 7. Tom arranged to meet Freeman with his nieces so that he could sexually abuse them. They planned to meet a carpark next to a hotel in Ashford at 6pm on 1 August. However he was intercepted by detectives and arrested. On searching his car they found a bag containing a unicorn soft toy, hair accessories and packets of sweets.

In interview Freeman admitted his actions and stated he anticipated he would have sexual contact with the children mentioned in the private web chat. He went on to say that he had brought the toy, sweets and hair accessories as gifts to the youngsters.

The court heard how the internet user ‘Tom’ was in fact a specially trained undercover police officer employed to identify potentially dangerous paedophiles.

Detective Sergeant Rob Grieve of Kent Police’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team said: ‘Freeman is a danger to children and presents a risk to the community. He fully intended to abuse two young children and disturbingly brought gifts with him in order to gain their trust.

‘Thankfully on this occasion he was actually speaking with an undercover police officer, who was able to identify him as posing a risk to children, assist us in putting together a case and facilitating his arrest.

‘When presented with the case against him Freeman fully admitted his actions and offered a guilty plea at his first court appearance. When he is released he will be required to sign on to the sex offenders register.’