A Beauly man who threatened under-age girls if they did not send him indecent images of themselves was jailed for two years yesterday.
Joshua Pemberton told solicitor advocate Shahid Latif that he wanted to go to prison after admitting the offences committed while he was on bail waiting to be dealt with on similar charges.
Last year he was jailed for 27 months but re-arrested on his release for the new charges.
Mr Latif told Sheriff Margaret Neilson at Inverness Sheriff Court yesterday that he was “anxious” about speaking for the 22-year-old because he didn’t agree with his request.
He said: “He has indicated he would prefer to go back to prison. I am internally conflicted. However those are my instructions. Normally I would have asked for him not to go to prison. But I can’t do that because of my instructions from him.”
Mr Latif said that a mental health consultant who examined Pemberton believed his autism was “a compelling explanation” for him repeating the crimes within such a short time.
He added: “I did not agree with him being sent to prison in the first place. Rehabilitation is as important if not more important than punishment.
“While in jail, he did not have access to the programmes which could have helped him. His parents do not want him back so he is homeless.”
Sheriff Neilson told Pemberton: “After what has been said, I have no other option but to impose a custodial sentence. But I do hope that you try and get the help you need while you are in custody.”
In May last year, Pemberton was imprisoned for 27 months after admitting sexual offences including extorting the illegal photos and videos from his victims by threatening harm or to share them with their friends.
Last month, Pemberton, formerly of Ruisaurie, but who has since moved to Dumfries, admitted five new charges including one of extorting naked pictures of a 13-year-old English girl using social media by threatening her with harm.
He also pleaded guilty to sending sexual communications to the teenager and a 12-year-old girl in the Western Isles to induce them to send him indecent images.
Pemberton further admitted threatening to share the photographs with friends while he was on bail and breaching that bail order by communicating with seven different girls under 16.
The offences all occurred between January 3 and January 31 last year.
The court heard that he had lied about his age to the 12-year-old using Instagram and Snapchat.
He then pressured her into sending 10 videos.
The court heard that a week later, Pemberton contacted the 13-year-old girl on Instagram, talking rudely to her before threatening her with harm if she didn’t send him nude pictures of herself. She eventually sent him two pictures.