October 2017: Jonathan Kennedy has now been released
Sex predator deserves his 10 years in jail, court rules
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.
Ten years for online groomer