On Air Afternoon Show Chris Quirk | 3:00pm - 5:30pm

Test case proves effectiveness of new laws

One of the police officers whose work led to the conviction of a Douglas man in the Island's first ever sexual grooming case is welcoming the new laws now in place to protect children.

A section has been added to the Sexual Offences Act, to cover the type of crimes which have emerged since the widespread use of social networking sites, internet chatrooms and texting.

Detective Sergeant Cathryn Bradley, of the Public Protection Unit, says she and her colleagues were pleased with the jail term of 17 months, handed down to 41-year-old John James McCurrie, particularly as it was a test case for the Island.

She says the recognition of grooming as a criminal offence provides crucial extra protection for young people.

McCurrie committed the first two offences when his victim was 14 and the third when she had turned 15, early this year (play audio file):

McCurrie didn't get to meet his victim on the third occasion because the authorities intervened.

As well as the prison sentences totalling 17 months, McCurrie was placed on the Sexual Offenders' Register for five years, and ordered not to make any attempt to contact the girl until she is 18.

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