Feb 2007

Face of a chatroom paedophile

A PAEDOPHILE who sent sexually explicit messages and images to internet chatrooms was caught by a quick-thinking teenager who took a photograph of him with his mobile phone, a court heard.

The 14-year-old snapped Gary Officer’s face over a webcam link after the 41-year-old showed him images of a man performing a sex act and another who was wearing just underpants.

Maidstone Crown Court was told that Officer was caught out when he revealed his face. He had been logging on to the chatrooms by posing as a teenage girl.

After enquiring as to their age and sex, he was soon moving on to questions of a sexual nature and asking to meet up.

The photo led to Officer’s arrest – and to him confessing to sexually abusing young girls.

Officer, of Lapwings, New Barn, Longfield, near Dartford, admitted causing a child to watch a sexual act in March last year and seven offences of sexual assault between May 2004 and April 2005.

He was sentenced to four and a half years, plus a further three months consecutive for an offence of harassment.

The harassment charge related to persistent telephone calls he made to a woman in May and June last year.

Officer was also disqualified from working with children and ordered to sign on the sex offenders’ register.