A man who was jailed for a twisted sex offence against a vulnerable teenager has failed in a Court of Appeal bid for freedom.

Mason James Sanders, 19, preyed on the 17-year-old, subjecting him to a sexual ordeal which left him distressed.

It came to light when he told a teaching assistant at school and then his mum, leading to Sanders being reported to police.

Sanders was sentenced to a year’s youth custody at St Albans Crown Court in February for a serious sex offence against the victim.

Today, he took his case to the Court of Appeal in London, where his lawyers claimed the sentence should have been suspended.

The court heard Sanders, of Chapel Way, Bedmond, near Abbots Langley, was remorseful for his actions, but struggled to explain what made him do it.

He was said by a probation officer who assessed him for a pre-sentence report to be a “medium risk” of offending again.

His lawyers today argued that the sentence he received was excessive for a “momentary” encounter, committed without any premeditation.

But Lord Justice McCombe, sitting with Judge Peter Lodder QC and Mr Justice Spencer, rejected the complaints.

“In our judgment, the judge cannot be faulted in how he balanced the factors in reaching the appropriate sentence,” he said.

“The length of the custodial sentence was clearly correct and there was no error in declining to suspend the sentence.”

The appeal was dismissed and the one-year sentence upheld.