September 2012

Men groomed Leeds girls on Facebook

TWO men have been jailed for sexually grooming a pair of 13-year-old girls after making contact with them through Facebook.

Leeds Crown Court Daniel Barugh, 22, and Dayle Brickwood, 23, sent sexually explicit texts to the teenagers and asked if they would be their girlfriends.

Kirstie Watson, prosecuting, said Barugh and Brickwood contacted the victims through the social networking site during the first half of last year and managed to obtain their mobile numbers. The court heard one of the teenagers was wearing her school uniform when they first met her. The pair took the girls on an outing to a KFC restaurant and Barugh commented on how young they were, saying they looked “about five.”

After the meeting the two men met the girls, who are from the south Leeds area, on six occasions before one of them told her mother and reported the matter to the police.

Police seized the men’s mobile phones and discovered texts which were sent over a five-month period.

A message from one of the girl’s phones to Brickwood said: “What would people think, two 14-year-olds going out with two 21-year-olds? Brickwood replied “No one would know” and “We could keep it a secret forever.”

Both men initially admitted contacting the girls but denied knowing their true ages.

Barugh, of Legentium Plaza, Castleford, pleaded guilty to meeting a child for sexual grooming and was jailed for 15 months, Brickwood, of Royal Troon Drive, Stanley, pleaded guilty to meeting a child for sexual grooming and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, He was jailed for 13 months.

They were both ordered to sign the sex offenders’ regisiter for 10 years. Michael Smith, for Barugh, said his client’s life had “gone off the rails” in recent years as a result of his drink problem.

Richard Canning, for Brickwood, urged judge Geoffrey Marson QC to impose a community punishment so his client could receive treatment on a sex offender programme.

He said: “His partner would let him move in with her. She is 16. The chances of that lasting forever? I won’t say anything about that.”

Jailing them, Judge Marson said: “It is relevant to note that neither of you appear to have any real insight into the gravity of what you did.

“It is pointless denying that you do not have a sexual interest in underage girls. Clearly both of you do.

“You are young men who must understand that contact with girls under the age of 16 in this way is wholly wrong and you must learn your lesson.”