A Longfield paedophile has been jailed for four-and-a-half years after admitting to grooming a schoolgirl for sex and possessing more than 200 indecent images.

James Newman, 23, of Longfield Avenue, began talking to the 12-year-old over social media network ‘BearShare’ between January and May last year.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told Newman she was 12 and he lied to her, claiming he was 18 years old.

The pair began talking through Facebook and spoke on Skype regularly.

The girl suggested they met in person and it was then that Newman came clean and admitted he was 23.

They met for the first time shortly after the girl’s 13th birthday at Rochester train station and went for a drive, they kissed on the lips and then met up for the next three weeks.

On the second occasion they engaged in sexual activity, which the girl consented to at first but she later withdrew her consent. Newman continued.

The victim reported that she either fell asleep or had a blackout and woke up afterwards, but states she did not take any drugs or drink any alcohol.

Two weeks later they met again and engaged in sexual activity.

The girl later told Newman she thought she might be pregnant. He did not reply to her messages and stopped contacting her.

The teenager then spoke to a teacher at school and told them she was scared she might be pregnant.

Newman was arrested by officers from Kent Police on November 28 who seized his computer and phone.

The digital forensic unit carried out a detailed and thorough search of the computer and iPhone and found 213 indecent images.

He appeared at Maidstone Crown Court on Monday and was sentenced for three counts of sexual activity with a child and possession of indecent images of a child.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Sunita Dale of Kent Police, said: "What was very clear from the outset of this investigation, was that Newman knew what he was doing and lied about his age in order to continue the relationship with this young girl.

"He knew she was vulnerable, not yet a teenager, but continued to talk with her on social media sites and then agreed to meet up and the relationship became a physical one.

"When this was reported to police, we carried out a detailed search of Newman’s address and found a number of images depicting the abuse of young children.

"Thanks to the strength of character shown by the victim, we were able to present a strong enough case that left Newman with no other choice than to admit his crimes at the first opportunity. It was perhaps the one saving grace in preventing the victim having to go through a trial.

"This sentence should serve as a warning that Kent Police takes all reports of this nature seriously and a dedicated team of detectives will use all tools at our disposal to bring those responsible to justice.

"I would also like to once again highlight the importance of parents and guardians monitoring how children and young people use the internet."

Newman was sentenced to four years for sexual activity with a child and six months consecutive for possessing the images.

A sexual offences prevention order was made for 10 years and Newman was placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.