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Online sex chat charge is a UK first; OBSCENITY.

Byline: JON CLEMENTS

A SUSPECTED paedophile will appear in court next month accused of making obscene comments about children during a private internet conversation.

Gavin Smith, 39, is the first in Britain to be charged under the Obscene Publications Act over online remarks. He allegedly "chatted" about children in a manner likely to "deprave and corrupt".

Until now alleged paedophiles have only been prose cuted for making, distributing or viewing abusive images and films.

Smith, a computer consultant from Dartford, Kent, was charged after police retrieved a log of an online chat he took part in.

He faces eight counts of publishing an obscene article under the 1959 Act. He has also been charged with making an indecent photograph of a child and with three counts of possessing indecent images of a child.

He is due before Dartford magistrates in July.

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ACCUSED Gavin Smith, 39
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 14, 2010
Words:147
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