Leighton Buzzard man jailed for online grooming offences
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A man from Leighton Buzzard has been jailed after he groomed a teenage girl online and arranged to meet her at a hotel for sex.
Ronjohn Bhowmick, 60, used Facebook to befriend someone he believed to be a 14-year-old girl, chatting to her about school and homework before moving the conversations to a more sexual nature via texts and WhatsApp.
He then arranged to meet the girl and booked a hotel with the intention of having sex with her.
When he was arrested at his home address, he claimed that “he was just being silly and sending messages.”
Bhowmick, of Miletree Court, Leighton Buzzard, was sentenced to three years in prison yesterday (Wednesday) at Luton Crown Court after pleading guilty to attempting to meet a girl under 16 years of age following grooming.
He will also have to adhere to a 10-year sexual harm prevention order upon release.
Detective Constable Ashleigh Napier, from Bedfordshire Police’s Internet Child Abuse Investigation Team, said: “I’m pleased that Bhowmick has received a custodial sentence, as even when the age of the person he was talking to was made clear, he continued to have sexual conversations with her and even persuaded her to meet him.
“Sadly, any child can become the victim of grooming, no matter what their sex, ethnicity or background. If you think that this might be happening to you or someone you know then it’s important you speak out and tell someone you trust.
“We continue to work hard to investigate these horrible sexual predators who think it is acceptable to sexually groom young children online.
“We would always encourage parents and carers to ensure their children know the risks and take steps to keep themselves safe online.”
The signs of grooming aren't always obvious, and groomers will often go to great lengths not to be identified.
If a child is being groomed, they may:
• be very secretive, including about what they are doing online • have older boyfriends or girlfriends • go to unusual places to meet friends • have new things such as clothes or mobile phones that they can't or won't explain • have access to drugs and alcohol