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Man jailed for having sexual activity with a child

A 22-year-old man has been sentenced to nine years in prison after admitting to having sexual activity with a child.

Ayden Reader, from Taunton, has pleaded guilty to 19 charges, including having sexual activity with a child.

He also pleaded guilty to taking, making, possessing, and distributing thousands of indecent images.

Taunton Crown Court heard how Reader had linked up with a teenage girl on social media in 2021 and began messaging her.

After it was reported to police, officers seized Reader’s electronic devices and discovered 882 category A images (the most serious), 950 category B images and 2,543 category C images.

In a statement, the victim said: “What Ayden has done to me and the way he has treated me has made me less believing of people.

“When I am anxious, I feel sick, I struggle to sleep and can’t cope in public places without feeling overwhelmed. It made me re-live what happened and made me feel guilty and shame.

“I am worried that if he would be released from prison, that he might message me again and, if this happens, it will be like a circle for me and never-ending.”

While under investigation, officers secured an Interim Sexual Harm Prevention Order for Reader which led him to reside in Kent while enquiries continued.

A Kent Paedophile Online Team investigation was launched after receiving intelligence that he was accessing and sharing child abuse images while living in the county.

While being investigated by the two forces, Reader began messaging young girls on social media, breaching the terms of his Sexual Harm Prevention Order. He also accessed devices he had not declared or made available to police.

Officers from Kent Police seized various devices, where they found 830 category A images, 973 category B images and 610 category C images.

Kent Police worked in partnership with Avon and Somerset Police to bring charges against Reader.

Reader was charged by Avon and Somerset Police with:

  • One count of sexual activity with a child
  • One count of causing a child to engage in sexual activity
  • One count of taking indecent images
  • Six counts of making indecent images

He was charged by Kent Police with:

  • Three counts of making indecent images of children
  • One count of being in possession of prohibited image of children
  • One count of distributing indecent images of children
  • One count of possessing extreme pornography
  • Four counts of breaching his Interim Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO)

During the hearing on Friday 2 February, the judge also granted an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order for Reader and an indefinite restraining order banning him from contacting the victim for life.

The officer in the Avon and Somerset case, DC Melanie Downton, said: “I would like to first commend the incredibly bravery shown by the victim in this case. She has shown incredible resilience and courage in come forward and supporting our investigation. I am pleased we could get this positive result for her and her family.

“We have worked in partnership with Kent Police to bring this dangerous offender to justice.

“I hope this sentence will give other sexual offence victims the courage to come forward and report what has happened to them.

“We have a dedicated child protection team who have a wealth of experience and knowledge in investigating offences of this nature. The team will do their upmost to listen and help victims and provide them with the support they need.”

DC Downton also urged children and their parents to have open and honest conversations about social media.

She said: “While social media can be a great tool for connecting with school friends and sharing content, it is also a dangerous tool when used by someone with malicious intent.

“We urge parents to speak with their children about social media and how to stay safe.”

Child Sexual Exploitation is when a child or young person is tricked into performing sexual acts, it can happen to both boys and girls.

For more information on CSE and how to recognise the signs, the NSPCC has shared this guidance.

You can also read more about it on our website.

If you suspect or know a child is in immediate danger, you should dial 999 immediately. Alternatively, in non-emergency situations, you can call 101, report it online or report it in person at a police station.