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Pervert sent vile sexual Snapchat messages to girl and asked to see her in school uniform

James Stephen leaving court.
James Stephen leaving court.

A pervert has been jailed after sending sickening sexual messages on Snapchat to a 12-year-old girl, even asking to see her in a school uniform.

James Stephen, 23, and his young victim discussed being in love with each other and being boyfriend and girlfriend.

Stephen, who the court heard had the mental age of a 15-year-old, also sent vile sexual messages to the girl, asking her to send him naked images, sexual videos and even pictures of her in her school uniform.

And he also sent her explicit images, a video and a sexual diagram.

Fiscal depute Colin Neilson told Aberdeen Sheriff Court police officers from the offender management unit carried out a visit at Stephen’s address at 7.15pm on January 6 2020 and inspected his mobile phone.

Messages dating back to 2019

During the examination, they found sexual messages between Stephen and the child on Snapchat dating back to October 24 2019.

Mr Neilson said: “It was apparent they were not known to each other prior to that day as they asked each other where they stayed.”

The child informed Stephen she was 12 at the time and lived in Manchester.

The fiscal said: “Multiple pictures of a young female in a school uniform were sent to the accused.”

He added the pair discussed “being in love with each other” and being “boyfriend and girlfriend”.

Stephen went on to send sexual instruction to the girl and asked her to “imagine having sexual intercourse with him”.

He also asked for naked pictures and sexual videos of her.

Stephen was arrested and charged and, after appearing court at the time, was bailed with a condition that he not possess a mobile phone or computer.

However, on January 25 at 11.30am Stephen was visited by officers who spotted phone chargers in his home.

Stephen initially denied having a phone and officers searched the premises for around an hour before Stephen eventually “told them the phone was in the washing basket in the kitchen”.

Stephen, of Victoria Road, Aberdeen, admitted sending sexual messages to a girl under 13 for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification or of humiliating, distressing or alarming her.

The charge states Stephen made sexual remarks and directed sexual comments towards her, requested images of her naked and in her school uniform, and sexual videos.

He also caused her to look at sexual images by sending her naked images, a sexual diagram and a video of a sexual act.

That offence was committed between October 24 2019 and January 6 2020.

Stephen further admitted failing to comply with the bail condition in respect of having a mobile phone.

‘When he gets his hands on a mobile phone, he finds he can’t resist

Defence agent Peter Keene said his client suffered from “certain cognitive disorders”, adding: “He has a number of conditions which have the ultimate effect of reducing his mental age to one of around 15.”

The solicitor went on: “He does have a history of offending in this manner.

“He’s candid enough to say that with all his difficulties and his mental age, he finds it easy to talk to people who are younger than him, and that he finds himself introducing some sexuality into the conversations.

“He accepts this is now the third time he has admitted these sorts of offences.

“When he gets his hands on a mobile phone, he finds he can’t resist.”

Sheriff Philip Mann told Stephen: “You have not had a custodial sentence before, but I’m afraid the time has come, having regard to your record and these offences.

“It seems to be the only realistic and reasonable sentence is one of custody.

“I do recognise you have difficulties in your life and your level of maturity is perhaps that of a much younger person, but nevertheless, to protect members of the public from behaviour of this kinds demands I send you to custody.”

He handed Stephen a prison term of 17 months and two weeks, and imposed a five-year sexual offences prevention order.

Stephen was also made subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act for 10 years.

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