Paedophile has jail sentence cut

A SWINDON paedophile who groomed an 11-year-old boy online has won a substantial cut in his prison sentence on appeal.

Mark James Chester, 36, pleasured himself and tried to lure the young boy to his home while they chatted via a web camera on his Xbox console.

Chester, of Buckland Close, was jailed for four-and-half-years at Swindon Crown Court after he was convicted of six child sex offences, including inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, last August.

But three of the country's most senior judges at London's Appeal Court yesterday upheld a sentence challenge by Chester, cutting his jail term by six months after ruling that he did not get enough credit for pleading guilty. 

Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC said Chester posed as a teenager when he made contact with the young victim as they accessed the web using their Xboxes.

The victim's mother was alerted to Chester's vile advances after she discovered a text to her son from Chester.

She arranged a sting web call between her son and the paedophile, and captured Chester inviting the boy to visit his house and to sleep with himin his bed, the appeal judge said.

Chester was arrested and denied any wrongdoing but, when police showed him the video footage recorded by the mother, he said it "made him sick", although he could not remember the incident.

He later admitted three counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, two of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child and one of causing a child to watch sexual activity.
Judge Bourne-Arton said Chester had a previous conviction for harassment in April, 2012, after he peppered a 12-year-old girl with text messages over a seven-day period, having befriended her on Facebook.

The author of a pre-sentence report had ranked him as a "high risk of serious harm to children".
Chester's lawyers argued that the judge erred in deducting just 12.5 per cent from his sentence for his guilty pleas.

Judge Bourne-Arton cut Chester's overall jail term to four years.


 

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