A sex offender from Herne Bay has been sentenced to 17 years in prison following an investigation by detectives from Kent Police.

Jamie Kennedy blackmailed a number of children into sending indecent images, and sexually assaulted several girls.

Kennedy sent the children obscene messages knowing they were underage, and showered the girls with gifts in order to manipulate them. He threatened to share screenshots of the conversations with his victims’ friends and family members unless they met his demands for intimate photographs.

Following a complex investigation, Kennedy was arrested on 17 January 2022 and later charged with rape, sexual assault, two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, making indecent photographs of a child, and two counts of possession of indecent images of a child.

Kennedy pleaded not guilty to all charges at Canterbury Crown Court on 9 May 2023 and subsequently the case went to trial.

Further evidence revealed during the trial saw another nine charges for sexual offences added, including: two more counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, one more count of making indecent images of a child, two more counts of sexual assault, indecent assault, and three counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child.

On 8 September 2023, Kennedy was found guilty of all charges before Canterbury Crown Court and sentenced to 17 years in prison. He must serve at least two thirds of the sentence before he can be considered for parole. He will be subject to a three-year extended licence on release and be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for life.

One of the investigating officers, DC Linda Gavin, said: ‘Kennedy is master manipulator who proactively sought out underage victims, sometimes by masquerading as a teenager, and blackmailed them for his own gratification.

‘He subjected his victims to psychological anguish and, in some cases, physical abuse. Throughout the trial, Kennedy showed no remorse for his abhorrent actions against the children involved, nor for the lasting impact it will have on them.

‘We are grateful for the bravery of those who supported the prosecution against this sexual predator, and hope that his sentence offers some comfort to his victims.’

By Ed

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