A Penrith man has been jailed for two-and-a-half years for child sex offences after his original sentence was declared ‘too lenient’.
Thomas Thompson, 58, formerly of Holyoake Terrace, was given a suspended sentence in July at Carlisle Crown Court for attempting to meet a girl aged 13 following grooming, attempting to arrange/facilitate the commission of a child sex offence and two counts of making indecent images of a child.
Thompson pleaded guilty to all four offences.
For around six months Thompson was a regular user of online chatrooms where he contacted girls around the age of 13 and received from users like himself, indecent images of children.
Thompson’s offending came to light following a proactive police investigation which resulted in evidence of him grooming a person he believed to be a child aged 13 and then arranging to meet her for the purpose of sexual activity. Thompson was arrested in Derby where he travelled to meet the child in May this year.
Following his arrest, detectives found over 30 indecent images of children on a laptop belonging to Thompson.
Today, the Attorney General appealed the original suspended sentence on the grounds it was unduly lenient.
The Court of Appeal increased the sentence to a custodial sentence to two-and-half years.
Detective Sergeant Tracey Nimmo, of Cumbria police’s cyber and digital crime unit, said: “We are pleased at the Court of Appeal’s decision to review this case and increase Thompson’s sentence.
“We are committed to protecting children from sexual abuse and online child sexual exploitation, with specialist officers, working together in partnership with support agencies across Cumbria to investigate and bring perpetrators of these horrific crimes before the courts.
“I encourage anyone who has concerns that a child might be a victim of online child sexual exploitation or abuse to contact us”