Cwmbran man who was caught by paedophile hunter group has his jail term cut by Court of Appeal
A MAN who was exposed by an online paedophile hunter who set up a fake profile posing as a teenage girl has had his jail term cut.
Carl Michael O’Hehir arranged to meet what he believed was a 14-year-old girl he met and groomed through a dating website.
But the profile had in fact been set up by a member of the public in a bid to catch people making contact with children over the internet.
O’Hehir went to meet the girl at Cwmbran train station, only to be confronted by the paedophile hunter – who broadcast footage of the meeting live online.
The 27-year-old of Clarewain, New Inn, Pontypool, was jailed for 22 months at Newport Crown Court in May.
But his sentence was today reduced to 14 months by judges sitting at the Court of Appeal, in London.
The court heard O’Hehir initially made contact with the paedophile hunter – posing as 19-year-old ‘Chloe’ – through the dating website Plenty of Fish in March.
Early during their conversations, ‘Chloe’ revealed she was only 14 and said she was still a virgin.
O’Hehir continued chatting to her online and eventually moved their conversation to the messaging service WhatsApp.
He told her he would like to have a “cwtch”, but said he wouldn’t force her to do anything.
He also offered to get condoms when she said she was concerned about getting pregnant.
They arranged to meet at Cwmbran train station after O’Hehir sent her photographs of himself.
On April 1 he drove to the station, despite being banned from driving, and was confronted by the paedophile hunter behind Chloe’s online profile.
Their conversation was broadcast live on Facebook and police came to arrest O’Hehir.
He admitted attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming, driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance.
But, reducing his sentence, Mrs Justice McGowan said the original term was “too long”.
Sitting with Lord Justice Treacy and Mr Justice Coulson, she added: “In the view of this court the appropriate sentence for this offending was one of 12 months.”
The judge said the extra two months imposed for the driving offences would remain in place, making a total sentence of 14 months.
He will also be banned from driving for one year following his release from prison.