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Paedophile asks to serve jail term in Republic

A CONVICTED paedophile who ran Belfast's first lapdancing club and was jailed indefinitely in Britain for grooming schoolgirls wants to serve his sentence in the Republic. James Jerome Brennan (55), originally from Manorcunningham in Co Donegal, has been serving an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment for public protection (IPP) since 2010. It means he could spend the rest of his life behind bars. Brennan has reportedly sought to be transferred to an Irish prison but his IPP status remains a major obstacle. He came to prominence when he opened a lapdancing club called the Movie Star Cafe in south Belfast in 2002. It closed the following year after being picketed by religious and women's groups. Brennan also ran similar clubs in Dublin, Limerick and Dundalk and talked about opening one in Derry under the name Le Chic. He was jailed in 2006 by Teeside Crown Court after being found guilty of grooming a 15-year-old schoolgirl by email after pretending to run a modelling agency in Spain. He had bombarded the girl with texts after she refused to meet him, prompting her father to contact police. Shortly after his release from prison, Brennan set up the Model Seekers website even though he was subject to a 2007 Sexual Offences Prevention Order to stop him contacting young girls. He subsequently met a 13-year-old girl in a Durham hotel and plied her with Red Bull and vodka. She escaped but was abused by Brennan in a car at a later meeting. In July 2010 Judge George Moorhouse imposed a sentence which would have seen Brennan automatically walk free.

However, attorney general Dominic Grieve QC referred the "unduly lenient" sentence to Court of Appeal judges, who imposed an IPP, telling Brennan he was undoubtedly a danger to young girls.

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