A 39-YEAR-OLD man charged after allegedly making lewd comments about children during a private online conversation has appeared in court.

Gavin Smith, of Boleyn Way, Swanscombe, has been charged with eight counts of publishing an obscene article under the Obscene Publications Act 1959, in relation to the one-on-one online chat.

This is the first time the Act has been used to prosecute someone over an alleged private online conversation.

Smith is also charged with four counts of possessing indecent images of children and two counts of taking indecent photographs of children.

He appeared at Dartford Magistrates’ Court on July 9 to face all the charges, and will next appear at Medway Magistrates’ Court on August 4.