Kent

Maidstone man jailed after ordering child sex doll from China

Whitmore Street, Maidstone Image copyright Google
Image caption Kent Police searched Leach's home in Maidstone last March

A man who ordered a sex doll from China "with the features of a young child" has been jailed.

Brian Leach, 62, paid £500 for the life-size item to be delivered to his Maidstone home last year, but the doll was intercepted by customs.

He pleaded guilty to improper importation of indecent or obscene articles, and to a further charge of making indecent images of a child.

He was sentenced to 28 weeks in prison, at Maidstone Crown Court.

Leach was arrested in March 2017 after Kent Police searched his home in Whitmore Street.

'Grotesque dolls'

The investigation later revealed he had also accessed indecent images of children on his computer, some of which police said were in the most extreme category.

Det Con Kinga Hammersley, of Kent Police, said: "The size and body features of the doll Leach ordered are of those of a young child.

"Included in the package were accessories which clearly indicated it to be an object for sexual gratification."

Leach was jailed for 14 weeks for importing the sex doll and 28 weeks for making indecent images of a child, to run concurrently.

Following the sentencing, an NSPCC spokesperson said: "The importation of these grotesque dolls is an emerging problem."

It called on the government to close "a legal loophole and make it a crime to create, distribute and possess" such dolls, and asked online retailers to remove them from sale.

It added: "There is a real risk that those who use them could become desensitised and go on to abuse children."

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