June 2016

Top judges jail Tamworth man who persuaded schoolgirl to send explicit images over Snapchat

A TAMWORTH man who was spared jail after he started up a relationship with a schoolgirl he met online has been sentenced to prison – after top judges ruled his original sentence was too soft.

Jordan Martin Osborne had a sexual relationship with the 14-year-old girl, who he persuaded to send him explicit images over picture messaging service, Snapchat.

Although the service is designed to delete images as soon as they have been viewed, Osborne bypassed the system and stored them on his mobile phone.

The 21-year-old, of Ivatt, was handed a three-year community order at Stafford Crown Court in April.

He admitted three counts of sexual activity with a child and one of making indecent photographs.

But he was today jailed for 30 months by judges sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, who ruled the original sentence was too soft.

The court was asked to review the sentence by the Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC, who said it was ‘unduly lenient’ for Osborne’s crimes.

Lord Justice Treacy told the court Osborne met the girl on social media and struck up a relationship with her.

They met and had unprotected sex a number of times before he broke up with her, telling her she was ‘too young’ and that he had met someone else.

The court heard Osborne has a low IQ and was described as ’emotionally immature’.

However, Lord Justice Treacy said there was a six-year age gap between him and the victim and it was obvious he knew what he was doing was wrong.

Sitting with Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing and Judge Melbourne Inman QC, the judge said Osborne should have been jailed.

He added: “He has of a reasonable level of intelligence and knew that what he was doing was wrong, and repeated his conduct on a number of occasions.

“In the circumstances of this case, even when taking into account the mitigation available to this offender, we have concluded that an immediate custodial sentence should have been passed, given a number of features – including the repetition of this offending, when he clearly knew it was wrong, and the impact on the victim.

“All of those matters lead us to conclude that the sentence passed was unduly lenient.”

Osborne was given until 6pm today (Thursday, June 9) to hand himself in at Burton-on-Trent police station to start his sentence.

As a result of his new sentence, he will remain on the sex offenders’ register for the rest of his life.

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Wright said: “The impact of Osborne’s behaviour on his victim cannot be underestimated.

“Even though he knew his victim was underage he deliberately began a relationship with her anyway.

“I did not think the original sentence reflected the seriousness of offending and I am pleased the Court of Appeal has increased the sentence.”