Staffordshire Police found indecent images at defendant’s Cobridge home
Pervert Jonathan Stangroom was snared by a member of a paedo hunter group who posed as a child online.
The 48-year-old made contact on the internet with what he believed to be a schoolgirl and attempted to engage in a sexually-explicit conversation with the ‘child’.
But he was actually in touch with a paedophile hunter posing as a child and was reported to the police.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard officers went to the defendant’s Mercia Crescent home, in Cobridge, in October, 2017 and seized his computer and phone which were found to contain indecent images of children.
Prosecutor Katie Fox said: “The computer was examined and contained five movies. There was 22 seconds of a category A film – the most serious – and four films at category B where the girls were aged between five and seven.
“Police also found nine category C images, of two girls aged between four and 11, on his phone.”
The court heard there was evidence on the computer of a conversation in June and July 2017 between the defendant and a member of the online group who pretended to be the 13-year-old girl.
Ms Fox added: “She told the defendant she was 13 and he said he was 21. He was in fact aged 46 at the time. He told her she looked so sexy and she should try walking around naked.”
Stangroom, who has now moved to Lancashire, pleaded guilty to three offences of making indecent images of a child and attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.
He was sentenced to a three-year community order with a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement.
Judge Paul Glenn told him: “You engaged in communication online with someone you clearly believed to be a small child. There is evidence you engaged in conversation with more than one person.
“You accept sending an image of yourself which was indecent, and some sexual messages. And when the police came to your home they found moving images.
“You claim you committed the offences because you were bored, depressed, and relieving pressure from work. You claim you have no sexual interest in children. That is inconsistent with the evidence in this case. I regard that contention as frankly ridiculous.
“I accept your remorse is genuine but it does not seem to me you have grasped the seriousness of your conduct. These are real children being abused.”
The judge ordered the destruction of the computer equipment and told Stangroom to pay £340 costs.