Paedophile who groomed children via PlayStation Network is jailed after PSNI tip-off

Paedophile who groomed children via PlayStation Network is jailed after PSNI tip-off

A PAEDOPHILE who groomed children online via PayStation Network has been jailed for two years after a tip-off from the PSNI.

Ashley Brooks, 25, of Holly Street, Tottington, Bury, pretended to be a 13-year-old boy when communicating with boys online.

This week, he was sentenced to two years at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court after pleading guilty to child grooming.

He was also placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for 10 years.

"Brooks was clearly a predator online and was targeting young teenage boys online and attempting to meet up with them," said Detective Constable James Donnelly, from Bury Police's Complex Safeguarding Team.

Exchanged numbers

Brooks first came to the attention of the PSNI after grooming a boy via PlayStation Network while pretending to be a 13-year-old boy.

He exchanged numbers with the victim and started to communicate with him on WhatsApp.

However, the boy's mother spotted the messages and reported it to the police.

The PSNI alerted their colleagues in Bury after it was discovered the number was being used at an address in the Greater Manchester borough.

Detectives from Bury CID launched an investigation and arrested Brooks in October 2021, seizing his devices.

The PlayStation console showed Brooks' conversations with the boy and also identified another victim, aged 13, in the Birmingham area.

A detective went to inform the victim's parents in January that their son was being groomed.

Just an hour later, Brooks arrived at the address asking to meet with the victim.

Hours later, he handed himself in at Bury Police Station and was arrested and charged.

Online world safer

DC Donnelly praised the vigilance of the mother who first alerted police.

"Thankfully one of the victim's mums raised concerns and reported them meaning we were able to catch him and unravel his crimes," he said.

"This is a step towards making the online world that little bit safer for children online now Brooks is behind bars.

"I would urge parents and carers to be cautious about who their children and young people are speaking to online and if there are any concerns, report them."