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Pervert Matthew Woodgate of Maidstone jailed after preying on children at Stour Centre pool in Ashford

By KentOnline reporter

A pervert who preyed on children at a public swimming pool has been jailed for four years.

It comes after Matthew Woodgate, formerly of Maidstone, was jailed in June last year for two years for breaching a sexual offences prevention order.

That was placed on him for engaging in sexualised conversations with young boys at the Stour Centre in Ashford.

Matthew Woodgate
Matthew Woodgate

But as police investigated that, they seized the 23-year-old's computer and discovered images carefully hidden by Woodgate.

One showed a picture of a young boy.

As officers pieced together the evidence they discovered he had met the boy at the pool, and had taken the photos there.

On one occasion, Woodgate walked away with the boy - leaving his frantic father fearing he had been abducted.

He then got the boy to pose naked while in the changing rooms.

Woodgate was charged with offences of making, taking, and possession to distribute indecent images of children.

He was also charged with causing a child to engage in sexual activity and abduction.

Now he has been sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court, after admitting each offence, apart from making indecent images of children.

Ashford's Stour Centre
Ashford's Stour Centre

Detective Constable Karl Brett said: "Matthew Woodgate is clearly a predatory sex offender and poses a significant risk to children in our community.

"Despite previous convictions and orders designed to curb his behaviour he has continued to offend.

"Matthew Woodgate is clearly a predatory sex offender and poses a significant risk to children in our community" - DC Karl Brett

"I am grateful that the children he approached shared their concerns with their parents, and that they in turn told the police.

"As always Kent Police will take such concerns seriously and investigate, and on this occasion we were able to identify and safeguard another child.

"I hope that the sentence passed today will finally convince Woodgate that he cannot continue on the course of conduct that he has, and will help protect the public of Kent from him for a significant period of time."

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