Girl, 12, was “asked for sex” by Worcester paedophile
A ‘DANGEROUS’ already convicted child rapist from Worcester attempted to arrange sex with a 12-year-old girl after grooming her on Snapchat.
Worcester Crown Court heard Thomas Leedham, aged 24, had contacted the girl via the popular social media app, which lets users share photos and videos instantly.
The ‘snaps’ are only available for online friends to see for a limited time.
He asked the girl to perform a sex act upon him.
In 2013, he was sentenced to 9 years after he groomed a 12-year-old girl on the internet then raped her in a tent in his back garden
Leedham, of Ombersley Road, Worcester, was formally arraigned by the clerk of the court, admitting attempting to arrange/facilitate the commission of a child sexual offence between March 10 and March 12 this year.
The inciting offence involved a child under the age of 16 (12 years) and placed him in breach of a sexual offences prevention order imposed on August 19, 2013.
He also admitted breaching the terms of the sexual offences prevention order when he appeared in court via videolink from HMP Hewell on Monday.
Leedham was jailed for nine years in August 2013 for sexual offences but had been released and was subject to licence conditions.
Jason Aris, for Leedham, said his client had now been recalled to custody and would not be released from prison until 2022.
Judge Jim Tindal said: “The question of dangerousness arises. In my opinion this man is dangerous. There’s a degree of grooming.”
Christopher Lester, prosecuting, said the defendant had asked the girl to perform a sex act upon him.
“She was 12 at the time of the offence. He requests pictures of her.
“She is reluctant to do that.”
Mr Lester said the sentencing guidelines suggested a starting point of two years and a range of one to four years in custody but that was before aggravating features were taken into consideration.
The judge adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report to be prepared by the probation service, reserving the sentence to himself.
The case will be heard again in three weeks.
Hereford man guilty of raping child
A man who groomed a 12-year-old girl on the internet then raped her in a tent in his back garden has been jailed for nine years.
Thomas Leedham admitted child abduction and twice raping the young girl whom he arranged to meet after making contact on a social media site.
Police praised the young victim’s “bravery and courage” during their inquiries which had “undoubtedly saved other children being abused at the hands of Leedham”.
In a “calculated” act, the 19-year-old persuaded the girl to stay the night with him earlier this year before assaulting her, West Mercia Police said.
She was reported missing at 3.30pm on January 31, and found together in the tent with Leedham by officers the following morning.
Leedham, of Hunderton Road, Hereford, admitted a further count of assaulting a child under 13 by penetration and another charge of making an indecent picture of a child.
Jailing Leedham at Worcester Crown Court on Monday, his honour Judge Toby Hooper QC also ordered him to sign the sex offenders register indefinitely and also made him the subject of a sexual offences prevention order. He has also been banned from working with children or vulnerable people for life.
Det Con Jamie Bullock, who led the investigation, said: “We are satisfied that the sentence handed to him reflects the seriousness of his offending. This was a calculated crime on his side, the extent of which was evident in the way he groomed his young victim, who he specifically targeted after perceiving her to be vulnerable.
“On behalf of the investigation team, I would like to thank the victim for the bravery and courage she has shown throughout the investigation, which has undoubtedly saved other children being abused at the hands of Leedham.
“Thankfully, due to his lengthy sentence, he no longer poses a danger to youngsters and upon his release he will be closely managed by the police as a sex offender.”
Facebook picture of Leedham