June 2017: James Brierley has now been released to the Carlisle area

June 2014

Social network sex pest jailed for six years


A man who had sex with an under-age girl and tried to meet another via Facebook has been jailed for more than six years.

James Brierley, 23, was found in possession of indecent images of children following his messaging with the second girl.

Judge Heather Lloyd jailed him for 76 months yesterday. She told him: “It is of concern to me that, in a pre-sentence report, you appear to have minimised what happened, and indeed justified what you have done.

“You blame the teenage girls when they are not to blame at all. You are the one who is the sexual predator.”

Brierley, formerly of Loftos Avenue, Marton, had pleaded guilty to two offences of sexual activity with a child, one of attempting to meet a girl following grooming, and five offences of making or possessing indecent photographs of children. At a Preston Crown Court hearing he was also told he will be on the Sex Offender’s Register for life and subject to a sexual offences prevention order.

Richard Haworth, prosecuting, said that when the defendant was 20, he had Facebook communication with a 13-year-old girl.

There was social chit chat between them, but after a while it had a sexual content, the court heard.

She agreed to meet up with him at the beach and they had sex. Brierley also had Facebook contact with another schoolgirl.

Their conversations had been explicit, with him saying he wanted to have sex with her in his car. She had been 13 when their contact first began. The messages stopped at one point, but later resumed.

Contact with her stopped when her father reported it to the police. Brierley was arrested in February this year, and a laptop seized which was later shown to have accessed 20 indecent images of children.

His computer equipment had also been seized when he was investigated over the first girl, but no indecent material found on that.

Fraser Livesey, defending, said Brierley had had a troubled childhood, had been bullied and felt isolated.

He later found company and companionship on the internet.

Mr Livesey told the court: “He was immature. He appears to accept that he should have known better, but wasn’t mature enough to recognise it at the time.

“He has matured significantly through his remand into custody following his arrest. He appears determined to address his behaviour and what underlies it.”

Judge Heather Lloyd said, in passing sentence, that both girls in the case had been socially vulnerable.

She also told Brierley: “You appear to have ignored the emotional impact on your victims.

“I am concerned your need for sexual gratification, regardless of the harm you cause or the consequences for you or your family, is the overriding factor.”