November 2017

RAF officer jailed after sending explicit images to children

An RAF squadron leader who served in Afghanistan and Iraq has been jailed after being caught sending pornographic images to children and asking them to send explicit images in return.

Kevin Scrafton, 38, created fake social media profiles of two 15-year-old girls to trick teenagers to send him back indecent pictures.

Scrafton, who was imprisoned for 18 months and dismissed from the military, targeted 10 victims aged between 15 and 17.

One victim said in a statement: “It affected me at school and my grades and it has affected my family and my mum gets upset by talking about it. I feel ashamed and embarrassed.” Another has suffered depression and self-harmed.

Scrafton, who was an RAF nurse, pleaded guilty to two charges of making indecent photographs of a child and 15 charges of possession of an indecent photograph.

The hearing at the military court centre in Bulford, Wiltshire, was told that Scrafton would receive a pension worth £23,500 a year and a lump sum of £88,214.

Lt Col Graham Coombes, prosecuting, said Scrafton, a married father of two, had downloaded photographs from Instagram to create fake profiles on Facebook and Twitter.

He then sent images that he obtained from pornographic websites. The victims were led to believe the images were of girls aged between 15 and 17 and were encouraged to send him images in return.

Scrafton was arrested in November last year; one category A image depicting a sex act between two consenting teenagers, three category B images and 54 category C images showing “erotic posing” were recovered from a computer.

“He admitted possession of the images but did not provide an explanation for how he had possession of them and why he had saved them,” Coombes said.

“He denied having a sexual attraction to the victims and he denied obtaining sexual gratification from them.”

Passing sentence, assistant judge advocate Gen Alan Large said Scrafton had been a man of “impeccable character” but his crimes were “sophisticated, devious and prolonged”.

He said: “It is a case that highlights the dangers to which young people are exposed to on the internet when having highly sexualised conversations with total strangers in social media chatrooms.

“You are sexually interested in both the person you were talking to, as well as their own sexual activities with their boyfriend or girlfriend.

“We take the view that an immediate custodial sentence is appropriate and you will be dismissed from Her Majesty’s services.”