February 2022

Bury paedophile who groomed boys on Playstation jailed

A paedophile law student who used a Playstation games console to groom young boys online has been jailed.

Ashley Brooks pretended to be aged 13 as he targeted children and attempted to meet them.

The 25-year-old from Bury was caught when a mother reported WhatsApp messages she had found.

Brooks, described by police as a “predator”, was jailed for two years at Manchester Crown Court after admitting child grooming.

The court heard how the Police Service of Northern Ireland had received a report that Brooks had used the Playstation network to befriend a child before messaging with him on WhatsApp in April 2021.

The victim’s mother spotted the messages and alerted Greater Manchester Police, who traced the number to an address in Tottington, Bury.

Brooks was later arrested and officers seized his devices.

His games console revealed the illicit conversations and also identified another victim, aged 13, from Birmingham, police said.

A detective told the victim’s parents their son was being groomed just one hour before Brooks arrived at their home asking to meet him.

Hours later, Brooks handed himself in at a police station in Bury, where he was charged.

Brooks, who cried throughout the hearing, also ‘threatened to kill himself’ and claimed he ‘needed’ the boy

Brooks was also placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.