Man sent 10,000 messages to school girl he met on Facebook and encouraged her to send him indecent photographs

James Ross
James Ross

A 64-year-old man exchanged 10,000 messages with a teenage school girl and encouraged her to send him indecent pictures of herself, a court heard.

James Ferris Ross was jailed for nine months after trading “filthy messages” with the 15-year-old girl after becoming friends on Facebook.

Leeds Crown Court heard how Ross, of Waterton Road, Lupset, was caught after the girl’s mother confiscated her phone and laptop.

The mum discovered naked pictures of her daughter which had been sent to a man called “Jimmy”. She rang Ross and warned him to stay away from her daughter but he hung up after saying nothing more than ‘hello’.

Prosecutor Olivia Checa-Dover said the police were called and they discovered the full extent of the contact between Ross and the girl.

The prosecutor said: “There were over 10,000 messages between the two.”

The court heard Ross knew the girl’s age and his profile picture was a true depiction of himself.

There were a number of sexually explicit messages from Ross inviting or inciting her to act in a sexual manner. On one occasion the girl told him to stop because she was at school.

She ultimately sent him two naked pictures of herself. The girl later urged Ross to delete them but he said he was going to keep them.

Ross admitted two charges of possession of an indecent photograph, two of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one of inciting child pornography.

James Littlehales, mitigating, said while the messages were unpleasantly sexually explicit they were to some extent a “two-way street”.

The girl actually told police in her interview: “I didn’t feel manipulated to send pictures of myself...I’m not a victim and don’t see myself as such.”

Judge Shaun Spencer QC, passing sentence, accepted there had been an exchange of messages “of the most filthy character” on both sides.

But he added: “It’s neither a defence nor mitigation that an abused girl consented to what is taking place or even appreciates what’s taking place. It’s precisely because of their age that the conduct is criminal.”

Ross was also put on the sex offenders’ register for ten years and made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order.