Tayside and Central Scotland

Man who 'badgered' teenage girls to send naked pictures jailed

Forfar Sheriff Court
Image caption Forfar Sheriff Court was told Ashley Allen created fake online personas

A man who "badgered" girls he found on social media into sending him naked pictures of themselves has been jailed for two years and seven months.

Ashley Allen created fake online personas to find girls aged between 13 and 15 on Twitter, Instagram, KIK messenger and Snapchat.

A sheriff told Allen he was a "dangerous, predatory individual".

Forfar Sheriff Court was told the 25-year-old's offences spanned more than three years.

Allen, of Dundee Street, Carnoustie was also placed on the sex offenders register for life.

The court was told that Allen posed as an 18-year-old from Edinburgh to contact a 13-year-old girl, who he convinced to send him naked photographs of herself.

He engaged another girl, aged 15, in daily conversation for two weeks before she sent about 40 sexual images of herself.

The third girl, aged 14, was contacted via Instagram, where Allen posed as a 15-year-old from Surrey.

'Dangerous, predatory individual'

When he was detained by police, Allen said: "I've been speaking to a girl on Facebook.

"She told me she was over 18 then I found out she was under 16."

Allen, 25, of Dundee Street, Carnoustie, pleaded guilty to four charges under the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act and two of downloading and possessing indecent images of children.

Defence solicitor Sarah Russo said: "He lives with his brother and leads a fairly sheltered life.

"He fully accepts the charges to which he has pled guilty to and he accepts they were under the age of 16 at the relevant time."

Sheriff Gregor Murray told Allen: "You showed detailed planning, subterfuge, went hunting for people on public sites then moved to private communications.

"You badgered some of the people involved and used threats almost to the point of blackmail.

"You are a dangerous, predatory individual."

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