'Unsophisticated' caretaker, 47, dodged jail for sharing vile images of children but is locked up at last - the previous judge was found to be 'too lenient'

By John Scheerhout

A caretaker who escaped jail despite sharing vile indecent images of children on Instagram has now been imprisoned.

Jaswent Rai, 47, from Stretford, was handed a suspended prison sentence by a judge at Manchester Crown Court on August 18.

But the Court of Appeal has now imposed an actual jail term following a complaint from the then Solicitor General that the original punishment was 'unduly lenient'.

READ MORE: The new Covid hotspots across Greater Manchester - and where rates are falling

Rai was investigated by the National Crime Agency after sharing a 'category A', considered by the courts as the most obscene, video online.

Manchester Crown Court heard that following an execution of a search warrant at his house in Stretford, officers found more of the images on his phone and two laptops as well as images of bestiality.

He had also been talking to other paedophiles on Kik, asking one: “Have you any kids sex videos?”

Analysis of his internet history showed that he had been searching for ‘child porn’ as well as ‘rape’ and ‘incest’.

Rai, of Stretford, pleaded guilty to offences of making indecent images, distributing indecent images and possession of extreme pornography.

He was handed a suspended sentence.

Rai, 47, of Stretford, was handed a suspended sentence of imprisonment in August (MEN Media)

Prosecutor Ben Knight told the court at the time that the offences came to light when the National Crime Agency were working with the authorities in the United States looking into the exploitation of children.

A search warrant was later executed at Rai’s address where a number of electronic devices were seized, including the mobile phone he used to upload the video.

Following analysis of the phone, officers found 120 illegal images including 36 category A images, as well as 53 images of extreme pornography.

Also seized were two laptops, one of which had 846 illegal images and the other contained 19 illegal images.

The children depicted in the images found on the phone were said to be aged between six and nine-years-old and the images of extreme pornography depicted acts of bestiality.

It was said that Rai worked as a caretaker but was in the situation where he was not a risk to children or young adults.

Mr Knight added that he had also engaged in sex chats on the messenger app, Kik, where he distributed the indecent images to others.

“It was unsophisticated; he used his own account in correspondence with another person to ask them: “Have you any kids sex videos?”, he said.

“The user sent him images which were not indecent images and he replied by sending them a category A image and said: “Any younger because I seen that one.”

Rai had also conducted internet searches of ‘underage child porn’, ‘animal farm porn’, ‘rape’ and ‘incest’.

He was said to have eight previous convictions for 17 offences, none of which were of a sexual nature.

Recorder Ciaran Rankin spared Rai a jail sentence at Manchester Crown Court in August (MEN Media)

His defence counsel, Anna Chestnutt, told the court that her client would be eligible for unpaid work as he has a manual job.

The sentencing judge concluded that whilst the custody threshold had been crossed, a court order would be more appropriate in supporting Rai.

Sentencing, Recorder Ciaran Rankin said: “There was quite an obvious trail leading to your account.

“You have shown little insight into the impact of your offending in the presentence report and your offending quite obviously threw lives into disarray.”

“Your timely guilty plea and that you have nothing of a sexual nature on your criminal history and the fact there has been a significant delay mean that the sentence can be suspended.”

Rai, of Hornby Road, was handed 18 months imprisonment which was suspended for two years, and was ordered to complete the Maps for Change programme, as well as 10 days of rehabilitation activity requirements and 150 hours unpaid work.

He was told he had to pay £425 court costs, and was made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and the Sex Offenders Register.

On Tuesday the Attorney General's Office confirmed the sentence had been increased following a complaint from the then Solicitor General Michael Ellis MP that it was 'unduly lenient'.

The Court of Appeal has now increased the sentence to two years in prison.

After the hearing at the Court of Appeal, the current Solicitor General, Alex Chalk, said: "The images held and shared online by Rai are truly shocking and abhorrent.

"I am pleased with the result of today’s hearing, and that the Court of Appeal agrees a custodial sentence meets the gravity of the crime."

See the latest court and crime news in your area by receiving email updates.

What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.