A Dartford sex offender has been jailed for taking, making and sharing indecent photos of children.

Officers working in the Paedophile Online Investigation Team obtained information that suggested 34-year-old James Smith had been sharing images electronically via social media from his former home in Phoenix Place.

On September 18 officers carried out a search warrant at his address and Smith was arrested.

He was questioned over the material and associated chat online and broke down in tears.

His phone and other electrical devices were analysed by detectives.

It was discovered that at least six of the images had been taken by Smith and distributed via social media.

He had also engaged in sexualised discussions about the images and was found in possession of other photos that he had obtained, some of which were Category A – the most serious level.

Smith was charged with taking and making indecent photographs of a child, two counts of making indecent photographs of children, distributing indecent photographs of a child and publishing an obscene article.

He pleaded guilty to all the offences on October 17 and was jailed for three years and eight months at Woolwich Crown Court on November 14.

Investigating officer, DC Jon Baker at Kent Police, said: "Indecent material like this, whether taken by an individual or downloaded from online chat rooms or websites, will have resulted from real children suffering appalling abuse.

"Thankfully Smith has been imprisoned for his actions and I would like to thank my team for ensuring he was brought to justice quickly. Children are safer as a results of his jail sentence and I want to assure the public that the Paedophile Online Investigation Team will continue to respond quickly and appropriately to reports of child sexual exploitation in order to make Kent a safer place for the young and vulnerable."