Lewis Edwards: Former police officer who used Snapchat to groom more than 200 girls loses appeal

23 May 2024, 12:10 | Updated: 23 May 2024, 13:59

A police officer who groomed more than 200 underage girls on Snapchat has lost an appeal to reduce his life sentence.

Lewis Edwards, a former South Wales Police officer, admitted more than 100 sexual offences against children and was sentenced to a minimum of 12 years behind bars.

He was jailed last year, but lawyers acting on his behalf argued on Thursday that the judge should not have passed a life sentence.

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Three judges at the Court of Appeal dismissed the 24-year-old's case.

Mrs Justice May said Edwards appeared to have "a settled, perverse sexual interest in young girls".

"In these circumstances, we can understand the judge's conclusion that it was impossible to conclude when or if the risk posed by the applicant would cease.

"We are not persuaded that the applicant should be differently sentenced. The sentence thus remains in all respects as it was before."

Cardiff Crown Court was told during a hearing last October that Edwards used fake Snapchat accounts - posing as a 14-year-old boy - to groom more than 200 girls aged between 10 and 16 online.

Edwards asked scores of his victims for indecent images in school uniform and blackmailed many young girls - threatening to publish their photos or hurt their families to get them to cooperate.

Sentence 'not unreasonable'

Edwards, formerly from the Cefn Glas area of Bridgend, had pleaded guilty to a total of 161 offences.

The former police officer refused to attend his sentencing and neither did he attend Thursday's appeal hearing.

Susan Ferrier, Edwards's lawyer, said life imprisonment should be a "last resort" and that he was "emotionally immature" at the time of his offending.

Roger Griffiths, on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said the sentence was not "manifestly excessive in the circumstances of this case".

Mrs Justice May, who sat with Lord Justice Holroyde and Mr Justice Bourne, ruled that a life sentence was "not unreasonable" despite the case being at the "outer margins" of such a sentence.