Nov 2010

Police warning about Facebook “friends” after Dover paedophile admits grooming

POLICE in South Kent are warning parents to make sure their children know the dangers of accepting strangers as friends on social networking sites like Facebook.

It follows the jailing of Dover paedophile Peter Jenkins, 31, of Westbury Road, Dover at Canterbury Crown Court on November 2.

Jenkins was sentenced to two-and-a-half years for grooming a 14-year-old boy.

He was arrested in April and, after a lengthy police investigation, he admitted sexually grooming the boy after sending him a friend request on Facebook using a false identity.

The boy became suspicious and raised the alarm. Police carried out a warrant at Jenkins’ home address. He was charged with the offence and remanded in custody.

As well as the prison term Jenkins was given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for 10 years effective until November 2, 2020. This means he is disqualified from working with children and prohibited from denying police checks: having unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 16; taking any photographs or camera footage of any child under 16 other than his own children; using any webcam or portable camcorder.

He is banned from using Facebook, Bebo, Twitter or other social networking site. Breach of this order is punishable with up to five years imprisonment.

PC Craig Ransley, who investigated the case, said: “Kent Police is committed to and will always seek to prosecute anybody who sexually offends against children.

“This also shows that parents and children need to be aware of who they are in contact with and only accept friend requests and communicate with people they know in person and can trust.”