May 2018

Online predator caught after boys he forced to take part in sexually explicit videos alerted school

Predator Robert Alexander contacted two boys via Facebook and forced them to take part in sexually explicit video calls and messages.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard how he also tried to persuade the older victim – who was aged 14 – to meet him. But his efforts were thwarted when the youngsters blocked him on social media and told their school about what had happened.

Now 20-year-old Alexander, of West Street, Leek, has admitted two charges of causing or inciting a boy under 16 to engage in sexual activity and two charges of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.

Andrew Baker, prosecuting, said the defendant had initiated contact with the youths for his own ‘sexual gratification’.

t led to them video messaging each other and Alexander sending sexually suggestive emojis. He also asked the younger boy, who was 12 years old, to send him pictures.

In their victim impact statements, the boys described feeling concerned, upset and ‘really low’ as they tried to come to terms with the incident.

Alexander was arrested and made frank admissions when interviewed by police.

“He denied offering to meet with one of them. However, he accepted he had sent graphic material,” added Mr Baker. “He said he needed professional help.”

Alexander was sentenced to 16 months in youth custody, suspended for two years, with a requirement that he complete a sex offender’s programme and 25 days of a rehabilitation activity.

He must also pay £300 costs and will be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for an indefinite period.

The order will prohibit him from accessing the internet without notifying the police in advance and will also ban him from deleting images or search histories, using social media to communicate with anyone under 16 and having any contact with the two victims.

Sentencing him, Judge Paul Glenn told Alexander: “While I accept you may not have been targeting children, you were not remotely deterred when you established it was children you were communicating with. Your motive was sexual gratification.