May 2017

Man sent indecent pictures of himself to 14-year-old girl

A man has been jailed for 15 months after he breached a Sexual Offences Prevention Order by contacting a 14-year-old girl on the internet and sending her an indecent picture of himself.

Leeds Crown Court heard the order was imposed in July 2014 when James Phillips was given a suspended prison sentence for two offences of causing or inciting a female to engage in sexual activity.

Adam Birkby said that case bore similarities to 27-year-old Phillips’ latest offence because it involved him contacting a 15-year-old girl on Facebook, subsequently asking her out, sending her images of himself semi-naked and receiving pictures of her in her underwear.

One condition of the Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) made after that conviction was for him not to contact any child under 18 on the internet, other than family members and with the permission of their parent or guardian.

Mr Birkby said about six months after the suspended sentence ended a 14-year-old girl received a friend request on Facebook which turned out to be from Phillips.

She did not recognise the name from whom it was sent and asked if she knew him. He claimed to have seen her around and told her he was in his 20s. She said she was 14 but he subsequently asked her if she wanted to see what he was doing and sent her a photograph of an intimate part of his body.

She did not accept his request for friendship, told her mother a “weirdo” had been contacting her and also reported it to her head teacher who discovered The person sending the message had 240 friends on Facebook, the majority being female, and the police were contacted.

Howard Shaw, representing Phillips, said although he still lived with his parents he had had a number of age appropriate relationships with young females

The latest had finished around Christmas and a few weeks later he had contacted the girl concerned and accepted responsibility for what he had done and that sending the picture to her was “highly inappropriate.” Fortunately she had reacted in a mature way.

Phillips, of The Crofts, Heckmondwike, admitted breaching the SOPO.

Jailing him, Judge Guy Kearl QC said the current offence was similar to the previous, contacting girls on social media. Although he had completed the suspended sentence without a breach within six months of it ending he had contacted another teenager demonstrating a “pattern of sexual offending.”

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