The mother of a girl who was just 11 when a sex pest sent her indecent images has expressed her disgust he was not jailed.
Charlie Stefano, 22, of Gadsden House, Digby Road, Lower Clapton, insisted on his innocence until the moment he was about to take the dock in the Old Bailey last Wednesday – when he changed his plea to guilty of making indecent photos.
He was in possession of 11 photos of the young girl – who cannot be identified for legal reasons – and had sent her pictures of himself.
The judge told the court Stefano could avoid jail – despite holding out his “not guilty” plea until the last minute – because the probation officer gave him a good reference and believed he had learned a lesson and was remorseful.
The girl’s mother said: “I’m so angry at the fact that even after admitting it that he evaded prison.
“He’s got away with so much.
“It’s been two years of hell, not knowing whether my child was going to have to stand up in the dock.
“He asked her to go to the bathroom and take different pictures of herself and take her clothes off.
“They found he had been sending him pictures of his private parts as well and there were conversations of him asking her for pictures. He’s ruined our lives.”
Her daughter has been through psychotherapy and counselling, and has been unable to sleep.
“It’s been traumatising for her. It has ruined her life. She’s not the girl she used to be. She’s private. More inward. She doesn’t go out on her own. She’s a changed person.
“She got into a lot of trouble at school where she had outbursts. She’s a very frustrated and angry little girl now.
“It makes me feel like I’ve failed as a mum because at the end of the day we are there to protect our children.”
Stefano has been put on the sex offenders’ register, been given 160 hours’ community service, and a five-year sexual harm prevention order, as well as being banned from being around children under 16 unsupervised.