A POWYS man who arranged to meet a child he thought he had groomed, but who was actually an adult posing as a child, has been jailed for four years.

Rodney Charles McGranaghan’s behaviour was described as “calculated, focused and exploitative” by a judge at Cardiff Crown Court this week.

McGranaghan, 25, from Llandrindod Wells, had denied a total of five charges relating to engaging in sexual activity and communication with children aged 13-14, but he was convicted of each offence at his trial at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court in February.

McGranaghan was just 20 when the offences took place, between March and July, 2019.

McGranaghan initially appeared at Landrindod Wells Magistrates’ Court in March 2021, with the case dragging on due to concerns over his suitability to enter pleas; he had also undergone a period of medical observation at a hospital.


The defendant was convicted of three charges of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child; McGranaghan believed he was talking to 13 and 14-year-old girls called Amber, Kloe and Mia, but they were in fact adults posing as children.

He was also convicted of attempting to engage in sexual activity with a child and attempting to meet a child following grooming.

Prosecutor Craig Lyn Jones said during sentencing on Monday, July 8, that the attempting to engage in sexual activity with a child was the most serious offence.

Hywel Davies, representing McGranaghan, of Temple Street, Llandrindod, said custody was inevitable as his client continues to deny the offences.

“The defendant continues in his case that he does not recall the incident, and as a result he is not able to be rehabilitated by probation,” said Mr Davies.

“He was of previous good character. These offences were committed in 2019 and there has been no offending since.

“He is engaged to be married, although it is unclear if this will continue or not due to the inevitable custodial sentence.

“When he is released he wishes to seek employment in farming and away from the area.

“He spent most of his adolescence in the care of the local authority, as a result of physical and emotional neglect, stemming from his father’s alcoholism and use of violence.

“I am hopeful he will engage with the various support services in custody.”

Judge Jeremy Jenkins, who oversaw McGranaghan’s trial, told him: “What you did not appreciate was that you were communicating with a number of adults posing as children, and you were caught eliciting from them sexual images, but also grooming them.

County Times:

“You were finally arrested when you came to meet a child you thought was Kloe. You were arrested in an isolated area, pretending to know nothing about it and saying you were lost when it was clear you had come to meet a girl called Kloe for nefarious sexual purposes.

“The author of the pre-sentence report described your offending as calculated, focused and exploitative. They said ‘he shows no remorse and it remains concerning he continues to present with deficits of his own orchestration which have been discredited by medical professionals so as to offset his own responsibility’.”

Judge Jenkins added: “Only an immediate custodial sentence can be justified, no other sentence is appropriate.

“Your intention was abundantly clear and remains a matter of great concern.”

McGranaghan was jailed for three years for attempting to engage in sexual activity with a child, with Judge Jenkins adding another 12 months, to be served consecutively, for the grooming offence.

Combined sentences of 23 months for attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child will be served concurrently.  

He will be made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for five years and must register as a sex offender for life.