| 9.8°C Dublin

predator Paedophile jailed for two years after pleading guilty to grooming boys on PlayStation

Ashley Brooks had first come to the attention of police in Northern Ireland after speaking to a boy (10) while pretending to be a teen girl

Close

Ashley Brooks (25), from Bury

Ashley Brooks (25), from Bury

Ashley Brooks (25), from Bury

A paedophile described by police as a "predator" has been jailed for two years after pleading guilty to grooming boys on PlayStation. 

Ashley Brooks (25), from Bury, had first come to the attention of police in Northern Ireland after speaking to a 10-year-old boy while pretending to be a teenage girl online.

Manchester Crown Court heard how the PSNI had received a report that Brooks had used the PlayStation network to befriend a child before messaging with him on WhatsApp in April 2021.

When the victim's mother spotted the messages, she alerted Greater Manchester Police, who traced the number to an address in Tottington, Bury.

Brooks was later arrested and when officers seized his devices they identified another victim, aged 13, from Birmingham.

On the same day officers visited the home of the teen Brooks been in contact with, he had phoned the 13-year-old and when police answered he asked them if he could say goodbye.

Brooks went on to visit the home after officers had left to apologise before handing himself in at Bury Police Station a short time later.

He later appeared in court to be sentenced after pleading guilty to child grooming.

Neil Usher, prosecuting, said: “His father speaks of his shock at his son being involved in such things. It has impacted on his school. It has had a lasting impact on their son, who shouldn’t have to deal with these things at his age.”

The court heard Brooks had been in contact with three teenage boys, one of whom did not wish to assist the police and another who could not be traced.

James Preece, defending, said his client had been studying for a law degree online but understood this was no longer an option.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

He added that Brooks had encountered loneliness and mental health issues and said he had felt he was in a relationship with the boy.

Passing sentence, Judge Savill, said: “Anybody who engages in grooming behaviour over this period of time, in the way that you did can expect an immediate sentence of imprisonment.”

He jailed Brooks for two years and placed him on the sex offenders’ register and on a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.

Speaking after the case, Det Con James Donnelly, from Bury Police's complex safeguarding team, welcomed the outcome.

He said: "Brooks was clearly a predator online and was targeting young teenage boys online and attempting to meet up with them.

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

"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."

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Available now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts.

Privacy