'ONLY A MATTER OF TIME': Chesterfield pervert jailed after reoffending

JAILED: Nathan Bray, 26. Picture supplied by Derbyshire Constabulary.
JAILED: Nathan Bray, 26. Picture supplied by Derbyshire Constabulary.

Any parent will tell you that seeing their child come to harm would be their worst nightmare.

So imagine the frustration and agony when the person responsible escapes justice.

But despite their anger, they know deep down that the right approach to take is to ride it out and wait for that person to slip up.

This is exactly how one Chesterfield mum was feeling, who we cannot name for legal reasons, to protect the identity of her young daughter.

This mum’s vulnerable 13-year-old was groomed online by a Chesterfield pervert.

He was not jailed. Instead, he was given a community sentence which required him to take part in a child sexual offenders’ programme for 110 days.

But Nathan Bray, 26, formerly of St Augustine’s Crescent, went on to commit a similar offence and has now been jailed. The fork-lift driver sent sexually explicit images of himself to an undercover police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl online.

Speaking to the Derbyshire Times following Bray’s new conviction, the young girl’s mum, said: “If he had been sent down for what he did to my daughter then this might not have happened – although I think he would have still done the same.

“When I heard he had re-offended it did not shock me at all. Me and my husband both said it was only a matter of time and low and behold he has slipped up.”

Derby Crown Court heard how Bray sent messages to the covert police officer asking if she ‘would pose for him in sexy underwear’, believing the officer to be a teenage girl called ‘Mia’.

When police visited his new address in Derby, after he was forced out of his Chesterfield home following a ‘community backlash’, they discovered he had sick child abuse images and had also been distributing them.

The conditions of Bray’s sexual harm prevention meant that he was not allowed to have internet contact with anyone under the age of 16.

But Bray contacted ‘Mia’ and sent her messages between March and April this year and sent her explicit video clips of himself.

When police raided Bray’s address they found 18 child abuse images of the most serious A category, 21 of category B and 85 of category C. They also found evidence he had distributed eight category C images.

Last year top judges at London’s Court of Appeal refused to alter Bray’s community sentence which required him to take part in a child sexual offenders’ programme for 110 days – despite it being argued he should have been jailed for three-and-a-half years after he requested an obscene video of the 13-year-old over Facebook.

Bray also asked for a picture of the schoolgirl’s private parts and sent her one of his own. He ‘urged’ her to send him sexual footage of her and sent her a graphic pictures. He also tried to arrange a meeting with the girl for sex, telling her he would use a condom and ‘be gentle’. A psychiatrist’s report described Bray as having the ‘emotional maturity of a child’.

But the mum, whose daughter he started grooming in 2014, said this week: “I think he is very calculated and he knows what he is doing.

“I think he has played the system with the psychiatrist reports to get off with it. I think it is a common thing in society where if you act a bit daft they go a bit soft on you.

“We went through the court appeal but they thought the sentence he had been given was satisfactory and that he was not a danger but obviously he is therefore these psychiatric reports can be got around.”

She added: “I am very angry about it all. It could have been another real child and it could have ended up very differently.

“The sentence they have given him for a second offence is disgusting. It is not good enough.

“If he had got a prison sentence when he did it to my daughter then he would have got longer for a second offence. It beggars belief.

“But I am elated he has been sent down because even though it was a police decoy that got him, and even though he did not get sent down for what he did to my daughter, we are using this as sort of justice in the end.

“People need to speak out about online grooming otherwise they will get away with it.”

Bray pleaded guilty to making indecent images, distributing them, breaching a sexual harm prevention order and contacting a child with a view to engaging in sexual activity.

Jailing Bray for 28 months, Judge Jonathan Bennett said: “I take the view there is an element of grooming here and custody is inevitable in your case.

“You have admitted causing a girl you believed to be a 13-year-old girl to look at indecent images but in fact it was an undercover police officer.

“You developed sexual contact in your messages to her asking her about her underwear.

“She told you she was 13 and, knowing that, you sent her sexually explicit pictures and video clips of yourself.

“Ultimately, the police arrested you and, when they did, they found indecent images of children on your devices, some of which you shared.

“And all of this took place while you were already the subject of a court order for almost exactly the same offence.”

Bray was also handed a new 10-year sexual harm prevention order.

Following Bray’s sentencing, a spokesman for the NSPCC children’s charity said: “This case is a disturbing reminder of the risks that young people face online, and the importance of parents and carers speaking to their children about these dangers.

“Advice is available via the NSPCC and O2 online safety helpline on 0808 800 5002,” the spokesman added.