Teenager who sent naked picture to 13-year-old girl tried to blame his friend

A teenager who pressured a 13-year-old girl into sending sexually suggestive pictures pointed the finger of blame at a friend when caught by police.

Jarryd Alexander, 19, left his victim suffering severe anxiety and on the verge of suicide.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard how he struck up a conversation with the girl via Snapchat, initially engaging in “friendly conversation” and feeding her compliments.

But Alexander gradually steered the exchange towards sexual questions.

When he first asked for a “nude picture”, the girl said no.

The pair eventually exchanged pictures with the defendant sending his victim a picture of himself wearing no underwear.

Police traced Alexander through his mobile phone and he was quizzed over the exchanges.

After naming a friend who had access to his Snapchat account, the friend was interviewed under caution.

Kate Davey, prosecuting, said: “The defendant named him and put him through the indignity and embarrassment of an interview under caution.”

But police saw through Alexander’s lies when they analysed the picture he sent, matching his features to the photo and identifying his bedroom. On his phone, police found seven indecent pictures of another girl, aged between 15 and 16.

Alexander initially denied causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, causing a child to watch a sexual act and making indecent images of children, activities which took place in Coggeshall in 2018. He later admitted the charges.

In a victim impact statement, the girl said the process of giving an interview to police had taken a severe toll on her mental health.

“After the video interview things got really, really bad,” she said.

“I was very depressed and anxious, on edge all the time.

“A few months after the video interview, I went missing from school.

“I went to the train tracks and was planning on killing myself, but was found.

“I ended up going to A&E and then I had about three weeks off school.”

She added: “I’m just coming to terms with the fact that this isn’t my fault.

“However I am also concerned that the person who did this to me, could do this again.”

Judge Jonathan Seely said Alexander, of Milden Road, Brent Eleigh, had come “within a whisker” of being sent straight to prison.

Alexander was sentenced to five months imprisonment, suspended for two years, ordered to complete 12 sessions with a psychologist, a 50 day rehabilitation activity requirement and 200 hours of unpaid work.

He will be the subject of a sexual harm prevention order lasting seven years.