Febuary 2013 - Sex predator deserves his 10 years in jail, court rules

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A sex predator jailed for grooming a Cambridge teenager on the internet as part of a countrywide “campaign” has lost an appeal.

Jonathan James Kennedy, 25, was jailed for 10 years at Nottingham Crown Court last July after he pleaded guilty to 17 child sex offences against seven victims.

He has now failed to convince top judges he was too harshly punished after his appeal was heard this week.

Kennedy, of Rhyl, north Wales, persuaded the Cambridge 15-year-old to send him photographs after telling her he found it “sexy” she was under age.

Top judges at London’s Court of Appeal have now rejected an appeal against his sentence, saying the punishment was “severe” but thoroughly deserved.

Mr Justice Griffith Williams said Kennedy’s victims, aged between 11 and 15, were coaxed into conversations on the web.

Kennedy contacted his 15-year-old Cambridge victim several times over the internet and she said he seemed “really nice” until he started saying “weird things”.

The judge added: “He said he found it sexy that she was under 18. He told her that he loved her and pestered her to send photographs of herself and she, in due course, did so.”

But the girl eventually realised the exchange was unsavoury and ceased contact with Kennedy.

The judge said he later targeted an 11-year-old girl from Nottingham, who he believed was 13.

Police arrested Kennedy and he admitted preying on girls in Cambridge, Stoke, Bradford, Nottingham, Crawley and Crewe, often asking them to send him naked pictures and to meet.

Kennedy, who also had sex with a 15-year-old girl from Stoke in a tent he took with him to the town, was later found to have 292 indecent images of children.

On appeal, his lawyers argued the sentencing judge had imposed a “manifestly excessive” sentence after failing to consider the totality of his offences and his mitigation.

The appeal judge, sitting with Lord Justice Davis and Mr Justice Bean, said: “The judge had to have regard to what was a campaign which lasted some 18 months, carried out by an older man to meet and then groom young girls.

“He was in fact a sexual predator.”

Kennedy admitted six counts of inciting a child to be involved in pornography, four of sexual activity with a child, five of taking indecent photographs of children, one of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one of meeting a child following sexual grooming.

July 2012

Ten years for online groomer

A PAEDOPHILE who was grooming and having sex with children he met online has been jailed.

Jonathan Kennedy was caught after an 11-year-old girl from Nottingham became his seventh victim.

But her mother was told what had been happening and police began an investigation.

Kennedy, 24, of Fern Close, Rhyl, North Wales, had been meeting his victims in a chat room.

Acting on the information from the child in Nottingham, police checked Kennedy’s laptop and found she was not the only victim.

He had preyed on six other girls in 2010 and 2011, Nottingham Crown Court heard yesterday.

He had sex with a 14-year-old girl in Leeds, sexually touched another in Crewe, and committed other sexual offences in Rhyl, North Wales, and Stoke.

The investigation found he had 292 indecent images of children. Four of those were videos of one of the victims.

In court, he pleaded guilty to 28 charges and received a ten-year sentence, of which he will serve half.

Judge Tony Mitchell had previously told the court that the facts of the case were “every parent’s worst nightmare”.

“You encouraged them, they responded and you arranged to meet them,” he said. “You arranged to meet an 11-year-old. Fortunately for you, that stopped at meeting and not any other activity.”

He said what Kennedy did had been for his sexual gratification and the images had not been passed on.

Kennedy’s age, lack of social maturity and the fact that he recognised he needed help as well as punishment were put forward in mitigation.

The judge gave Kennedy four years for causing or inciting a sexual offence; two years concurrently for making indecent photographs; four years consecutively for sexual activity with a child and four years concurrently for taking an indecent photo of a child.

He also got two years concurrently for causing a child to watch/look at an image of sexual activity; two years consecutively for meeting a child following sexual grooming; and three months concurrently for possessing the indecent photographs.

He must sign the sex offenders’ register, is subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and is disqualified from working with children for life.