Facebook pervert has jail time cut

A sex pest who groomed three schoolgirls on Facebook has had his jail sentence cut by top judges.

Father-of-one Colin Broome, of Hendal Lane, Wakefield, pretended to be an 18-year-old boy named "Chad Smith" online and sent explicit messages to the 14 and 15-year-olds before meeting up with them.

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The 30-year-old was jailed for two and a half years at Leeds Crown Court in July after admitting five counts of sexual grooming.

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At his sentencing hearing, Judge Kerry Macgill said Broome was a "sexual predator" and described his actions as "every parent's worst nightmare".

But three senior judges at the Court of Appeal have now cut that sentence to two years after Broome's lawyers argued the offences should be treated as one.

Mr Justice Davis told the court Broome had created the online alter-ego, Chad Smith, for whom he entered a date of birth of 1992.

He then befriended a 14-year-old girl and, through her, her 15-year-old friend. Broome then sent sexually explicit messages to the girls and, in March, asked to meet them.

The judge said Broome turned up on a bike but the girls quickly left because his age was obviously different from his Facebook profile.

Broome then tried something similar with another girl, also aged 14, and again arranged to meet her.

But he was eventually tracked down and arrested after a friend of the first girl he contacted told her mother.

Gerald Hendron, for Broome, told judges he should have been given a shorter sentence because the offences all happened around the same time.

Mr Hendron said nothing more than an exchange of messages had taken place.

Mr Justice Davis, sitting with Lord Justice Pill and Mr Justice Lindblom, said the only reason nothing more happened was because the girls prevented it.

But, agreeing to cut the sentence to two years, he told the court: "We have come to the conclusion that the judge's overall sentence of 30 months was too long."

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