Christine Cunningham, court reporter
Monday, July 2, 2012
A man came “close to blackmailing” a 15-year-old girl into sending him indecent photos of herself by threatening to post topless photos of her on Facebook unless she sent him further indecent images, a court heard.
Adrian Sharman, 24, posed as a teenage boy and gave a false name as he got the victim to send him topless pictures of herself, Norwich Crown Court heard yesterday.
Andrew Thompson, prosecuting, said that Sharman then sent the girl threatening text messages asking for her to send him more explicit photos of herself to his phone otherwise he would put the images he had of her on Facebook.
Mr Thompson said that in some of the messages he said things such as: “Do them please or I will put them on Facebook. It is up to you.”
However, when the photos were accidentally discovered on his phone, police were informed and Sharman arrested.
Sharman, of Rose Lane Close, Palgrave, Diss, admitted four counts of possessing indecent images of a child.
Jailing him for 18 months and banning him from working with children, Judge Peter Jacobs told him: “You decided to target the victim.” He said that Sharman had posed as a teenage boy aged about 17, and had got her to send him two explicit photographs of herself showing her breasts and had then demanded further images.
He added: “You then started to come close to blackmailng her into providing these pictures.
“The pressure on this girl is frightening and one can imagine the fear and tension she was under.”
He said it was a “nasty and unpleasant” offence.
He said that in the end the girl had sent him another indecent photo of herself as he requested and said that Sharman had used “intimidation and coercion” to get her to do this.
“I regard this as a serious matter,” he added.
Judge Jacobs also placed Sharman on the sex offenders’ register and made a sexual offences prevention order against him.
Neil Guest, for Sharman said that he was of low intelligence and had difficulties: “These are not images he has sent to anyone.”
He said that Sharman had now learned his lesson, adding: “This truly has been a salutary experience for him. He has shown genuine remorse.”
Mr Guest said that Sharman had recently got married and his partner was pregnant. “Things have changed in his life,” he said.