March 2013

Syston paedophile jailed for 10 months

A mother has told how she helped jail a man who ‘groomed’ her 13-year-old son over the internet.

The woman alerted police when she became aware that Lewis Matthew Sawbridge had sent her son sexual text messages and had asked the teenager to take indecent photographs and film of himself and send them to him

Lewis Matthew Sawbridge, aged 24 of Syston has been jailed after being found guilty of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, and attempting to possess an indecent photograph of a child. Both charges carry a ten month sentence

Birmingham crown court heard that during January 2011, Sawbridge had systematically groomed the child for two weeks on various social networking sites

Sawbridge, married but with no children then changed his persona and pretended to be a 23 year old female, and began sending mobile phone text messages to the child that included naked pictures of females. He proceeded in asking for photos of the childs face, upper body, genitals and a full frontal shot. Sawbridge admitted that he did it for his own self gratification

Sawbridge’s wife has forgiven him, and has vowed to stand by him

As well as a twenty month prison sentence, for which Sawbridge will have to serve half, he is also required to sign the sex offender register for 10 years.

Speaking after the case, the victim’s mother, who cannot be named to protect her child’s identity, said: “My son suddenly started getting text messages all the time, so I asked him what was going on.

“When I looked at his phone, I saw someone was sending him naked images of women.

“In return, this person was asking my son to send him naked pictures of himself.

“I called the police immediately, and they found him.

“I am glad I have been able to stop him.

“He knew exactly how old my son was and he attempted to groom him for two weeks before he started sending him pictures of naked women and asking my son to send him indecent pictures of himself in return.”

The mother reported Sawbridge to her local police force, West Midlands Police.

Det Sgt Victoria Lee, the West Midlands Police detective who led the investigation, said Sawbridge first made contact with the boy in a public discussion forum on an internet gaming website in January last year.

“He encouraged the boy to go to another website where they could chat privately,” said Det Sgt Lee.

“The victim is a young teenager and isn’t very streetwise and I don’t think he had any concept of the seriousness of what Sawbridge was doing.

“There were sexual advances toward the child and he was asking for naked images of the boy.

“He also asked the boy to film himself performing a sexual act on himself.

“He made a full and frank admission when we interviewed him that this was for his own sexual gratification.

“Asking the child to produce indecent images of himself took his behaviour to the next stage and that is the reason for the length of the time he will spend on the sex offender register.”

It has been brought to our attention that there is a man also called Lewis Harry Sawbridge who lives in Braunstone. We have been asked to clarify that he is not the same man and is not connected with this case in any way.