December 2019

49-year-old man posed as teenage boy to watch underage girls undressing online

A 49-year-old man who posed as a teenage boy to watch underage girls undressing on Skype and MSN video chat has been jailed for two years.

James Nicholas told one child she “looked hot in her skirt” and said it was a shame she had knickers on.

Nicholas, of Pot Lane, Steeton, sat in the dock with his head bowed as prosecutor Stephen Wood told how he had encouraged girls aged 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity over a period of around seven years.

Nicholas went on chat logs to watch the girls undressing.

He pleaded guilty to seven offences of attempting to incite a child under 16 to engage in sexual activity and three offences of making indecent photographs of children.

Mr Wood said that Nicholas’ home was raided by the police on April 19, 2015.

When his Apple MacBook Pro and desktop computer were examined, the police found chat logs and indecent images and videos of children.

Beginning in 2008, the video chats included a request to see a girl’s breasts but she replied “not today I’m running late”.

In one conversation, a girl said she was 15 and Nicholas replied “me 2”.

One girl told him she was in the cadets and they were in contact while she was in the school gym doing PE. Later, she tells him she is nearly 16 and he claims to be 16.

When one child told Nicholas that “he could be 50 for all I know”, he replied that he wished he was but that he had all his working life ahead of him.

Nicholas asked other girls to show him their breasts and vaginas. The victims came from across the UK and overseas, one being resident in the US.

Nicholas had stored 25 category A still and moving images of children, 13 at category B and 169 at category C on his computers.

One moving image showed a girl aged 11 to 13 removing her lower clothing to indecently expose herself.

Mr Wood said Nicholas groomed some of his victims, lied about his age and recorded and stored images.

Judge Jonathan Gibson jailed Nicholas for a total of two years. He made a ten-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and Nicholas must sign on the sex offender register, also for ten years.

The judge said the defendant posed as a boy aged 15 or 16 when he was a man in his forties. He groomed the girls and retained the images on his computers.