August 2021

Child groomer confronted by paedophile hunters in Huddersfield pub after to meet ‘girl, 14’

A man who was confronted by paedophile hunters after he arranged to meet a “14-year-old girl” in a Huddersfield pub has avoided an immediate jail sentence after it took three years to charge him.

Back in December 2017 members of Protecting Children Online UK live-streamed their confrontation with Andrew Kosmala when he turned up at the pub in the Bradley area hoping to meet the young girl he had been grooming online for the previous two weeks.

The woman, who had been posing as the child online, greeted unsuspecting Kosmala, but after he came out of the gents’ toilets he was challenged by other group members and the police were called.

Prosecutor Tom Storey told Bradford Crown Court that the Crown Prosecution Service was not asked to provide a charging decision until April 2020 due to a police officer’s long-term sick leave and delays in examining Kosmala’s mobile phone.

He said charges were eventually authorised in December last year and in June this year Kosmala, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to offences of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and attempting to meet a child after sexual grooming.

During sexualised online chats Kosmala was told the “girl” was only 14, but he said he liked young girls.

He sent the teenager sexual pictures of himself and tried to get her to take topless or naked photos for him.

Recorder Patrick Palmer said Kosmala had provided details of the bus route to get to the pub for the meeting and the day before he had messaged “the girl” asking if she would have sex with him.

He said the offences were very serious and merited a custodial sentence, but he had to bear in mind that the offences involved a “decoy” and happened three-and-a-half years ago.

The judge said he was just prepared to draw back from an immediate jail term and imposed a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

Kosmala, of no fixed abode, will have to comply with a sex offenders programme and do 100 hours unpaid work as part of his sentence.

He will also have to sign on as a sex offender with the police for five years and be subject to a five-year sexual offences prevention order.

Kosmala was also ordered to pay £250 towards the prosecution costs of the case.