Man Jailed For Grooming Murdered Kayleigh Haywood
9 February 2017, 16:32 | Updated: 9 February 2017, 16:38
A 20-year-old has been detained after admitting sending Leicestershire schoolgirl Kayleigh Haywood explicit messages days before she was murdered.
Bruce Cordwell attempted to arrange to meet the tragic teenager over Facebook and WhatsApp for sex between November 10 and 13 2015.
Kayleigh, 15, was raped and killed by landscape gardener Stephen Beadman after being bombarded with messages on Facebook and other social media sites for around two weeks by 28-year-old Luke Harlow.
Leicester Crown Court heard Cordwell, a "problematic young man'', sent Kayleigh two pictures of an exposed penis, claiming he was "bigger'' than her boyfriend.
He knew Kayleigh was under-age but sent one explicit message which left the court "in no doubt about what he intended''.
Prosecuting, Lynsey Knott said: "The nature and content of these messages make it clear he wanted to meet for penetrative sexual intercourse.
"It's clear from the outset of this conversation that the defendant knew Kayleigh Haywood was 15 years of age. He knew because she told him.''
The pair exchanged around 100 messages on November 10, with Cordwell making repeated requests for Kayleigh to go on webcam - which she refused - and claiming he was "fitter and better than her boyfriend''.
Cordwell, who has two red lipstick kiss tattoos on his neck, bowed his head as the evidence was read out, while Kayleigh's mother Stephanie watched on from the public gallery.
The following day, Cordwell apologised for his messages, saying: "I'm sorry about that, I have not had sex for a few weeks so just get turned on easy, you know?'' before going on to ask her to meet twice.
After Kayleigh was reported missing, Cordwell sent her a message on November 16 saying: "You need to get home, your parents are worried sick about you. You are only 15.''
The messages came to light as part of the investigation into Kayleigh's murder - and the court was told Cordwell had no links to that offence.
Cordwell, who has 17 previous offences including shoplifting, battery and criminal damage, pleaded guilty to attempting to arrange the commission of a child sex offence and was sentenced to detention for three years and seven months.
Sentencing him, Judge Robert Brown said: "This offending is child abuse and it calls for a custodial sentence.
"When children are abused, they suffer all kinds of harm as the mother of this young girl knows all too well.
"You knew that your victim was under 16 because that fact was established in the texts that went between you.
"You groomed her, your intention thereafter was that you would have sex with her.''
He added that no actual meeting had taken place and ordered Cordwell sign the sex offenders register indefinitely.
Eugene Hickey, mitigating, said: "One suspects this is the type of chat that is happening daily across the country between teenagers.
"He was a reckless and immature 19-year-old. He knows he has done wrong.''
Luke Harlow lured Kayleigh into into his home in Ibstock, Leicestershire, on November 14, and was later given a 12-year jail term for false imprisonment and grooming. Beadman was jailed for life for the rape and murder of Kayleigh.