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Jailed: 'Seriously disturbed' Shropshire man, 21, groomed nine-year-old girl

By Rob Smith | Newport | News | Published:

A "seriously disturbed" Shropshire man who groomed a nine-year-old girl and convinced her to send him explicit photographs has been jailed for four years and eight months.

Brendan Bambro

Brendan Bambro, 21, solicited photos and videos from his victim on the social media app Kik, Shrewsbury Crown Court heard.

Bambro, formerly of Barrack Lane in Lilleshall, was caught after a vigilante group calling itself Parental Online Protection reported him to the police in February last year.

When officers searched his home they found the incriminating pictures, videos and conversations on a phone.

In one of his messages to the girl, he asked her to send him a three-minute video of herself performing a sex act, the court heard.

Prosecutor Sophie Murray said: "The conversations were sexual, there was grooming involved."

Police found two still images and six video files, all involving the same victim.

"One can only imagine the impact that such offending behaviour has had on [the girl] and her family," said Miss Murray.

Bambro was "full and frank" with police, and told them he was addicted to the internet.

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He later pleaded guilty at a pre-trial hearing to inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, and two charges of possessing indecent images.

His representative Rob Edwards told the sentencing hearing on Friday that he had "led an isolated lifestyle".

"He has made an admission that he has a problem. That is an important step... one that is at the beginning of a very long road.

"He knows he needs help."

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Harmful

He said Bambro suffered with a personality disorder, and Judge Peter Barrie remarked that he had a "seriously disturbed" approach to using the internet developed over many years.

The judge told him: "The internet has a lot of things to answer for but the abuse of [this girl] is one of them.

"You became used to the opportunities for sexual behaviour that the internet offers at a time when you were yourself [at a young age].

"It remains the case that you deliberately set out to do something very harmful to her.

"You got her to send you a series of sexual images."

He categorised Bambro's conversations with the girl as "grooming behaviour", saying he conditioned her over time to do what he told her.

"[You had] a seriously disturbed approach to the use of the internet to feed your sexual needs, which until this prosecution had gone undetected and untreated by any sort of support.

"You must have known that this was a very young girl and if you had stopped to think about it you would have realised how badly you were treating her."

He said that Bambro's youth and lack of world experience were "significant" mitigating factors, which led him to decide the shortest sentence he could impose for the incitement offence was seven years.

This was reduced further because of his early guilty plea to four years and eight months.

For the two charges of possessing indecent images, he received 16-week and eight-week sentences.

They will run concurrently with the longer sentence.

Bambro will also be banned from working with children, and a sexual harm prevention order will run indefinitely.

It restricts his use of devices and contact with children.

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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