A five-year and three month prison sentence has been handed to a man who pretended to be a teenage girl online and exchange indecent images and videos with children.
Mandeep Rai, 22 used various social media channels to pretend to be a 16-year-old girl and befriended teenage boys before exchanging indecent images and videos.
Kent Police officers from the Paedophile Online Investigation Team executed a warrant at his home address in Bhutan Road, Herne Bay on 11 April 2018.
After examining Rai’s phone they found a social media account using a girl’s name that was used to contact a 14-year-old boy.
Rai befriended him, and after making him believe they were in a relationship asked him to send indecent images and videos. He would also encourage the boy to video call, but the boy never saw him on camera. Rai would also ask the boy to carry out indecent acts.
Rai was released on bail while the investigation continued.
He was further arrested in September 2019 after indecent images of children were found on a phone seized during his original arrest and was released whilst the investigation continued.
On 5 April 2020, Kent Police was contacted by the mother of a 12-year-old boy after he told her that he had been talking to a girl online and sent the girl images of himself, later found to be Rai.
Rai was arrested again but denied all the allegations put to him. He was then charged with three counts of inciting a child to engage in online sexual activity, two counts of engaging in online sexual communication with a child and two counts of making indecent images of children and remanded in custody.
Rai was a member of police staff at the time of his arrest and immediately suspended. On 22 June 2020, he pleaded guilty to all offences and on Friday 4 September he was jailed.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Graham Oliver said: ‘Rai deliberately set out to trick boys into thinking they were engaging with a girl online for his own sexual pleasure.
‘It is clear he is a risk to the public, and the prison sentence and subsequent registration on the sex offender register should help protect them.
‘We will do everything in our power to proactively target people who seek to commit sexual offences against children and ensure they receive a prison sentence but it is also important for parents to understand how the internet works.
‘The internet is an incredible tool, but there are people who use it for bad purposes. Parents should talk with their children, open up those lines of communication and learn together to ensure children use the internet safely.’
Rai was officially dismissed from the force following a misconduct hearing on 24 August 2020.