October 2017

Jail sentence cut for Shropshire web predator who preyed on 13-year-old girl

A web predator from Shropshire who sent a 13-year-old girl naked photos after researching where she went to school has had his sentence cut by judges.

Kieran James Bowers, near Ellesmere, was locked up for four years at Truro Crown Court in May.

He admitted possessing indecent photos of children and causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

But his case reached London’s Appeal Court yesterday as Bowers, now 20, challenged the severity of his sentence.

At the hearing Bowers had his sentence reduced to three years.

The court heard Bowers had contacted his teenage victim through Twitter after trawling the web.

“He appears to have carried out some form of research into the school where she was a pupil, and into the area where she lived,” said Mrs Justice McGowan.

Bowers told the girl he was 16 and claimed to have known her at primary school, she added.

The court was told he bombarded her with messages designed to win her trust and, after a while, they were using a variety of social media to communicate.

She complied in swapping “explicit” texts and believed they were in a genuine relationship.

He sent her obscene photos and got her to send naked photos back.

She was also persuaded to send him a photo of herself carrying out an obscene act.

On top of that, he asked her to send him a photo of herself in her school uniform.

When the girl had finally had enough and told him to leave her alone, Bowers told her she was “pathetic – and not worth it”.

Police were called in when the girl’s mum got wind of what was going on.

A search of Bowers’ computer revealed a cache of incriminating photos.

Mrs Justice McGowan noted that the online contact had carried on for several months – with around 1,700 communications in all.

But Bowers was still just 18 at the time and had since shown “genuine remorse”, she added.

He had also spared his victim the ordeal of giving evidence by pleading guilty.

“Accordingly we reduce his sentence from four to three years,” said the judge, who was sitting with Lord Justice Hamblen and Judge Michael Topolski QC.

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