May 2022

Maidstone man caught trying to engage girls into sex act were undercover police in Wales

A man engaging in sex acts online with two victims he believed were schoolgirls has avoided going to prison.

Benjamin Kirkham coaxed one of the 13-year-olds into performing a sex act, Maidstone Crown Court heard.

But married Kirkham was in reality talking with undercover police officers in Wales.

Now the 48-year-old of Linden Road, has received a 23-month jail sentence suspended for two years after admitting three sex offences on the day he was due to start his trial.

Prosecutor Daniel Cohen said: “These offences relate to the communications with decoy accounts operated by a division of the south Welsh police force.

“The defendant was using the name ‘London Daddy’ with someone purporting to be a 13 year old female, ” he added.

He said Kirkham began chatting when he asked the “schoolgirl” to perform a sex act on herself.

He also talked to another undercover officer posing as a schoolgirl and was arrested in July last year when he claimed he believed the “girls” were older.

But Mr Cohen said the chat logs revealed the decoy officer tells him she is 13 but he then asks for a photograph of her.

Judge Robert Lazarus told him: “You were involved in sexualised chats with undercover officers, covering topics including nudity and sex.”

Kirkham was also ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work, pay £1,500 court costs, and sign the Sex Offender’s Register for 10 years.