October 2019

Man promised money to schoolgirl in exchange for explicit pictures

A self-confessed “dirty old man” who sent increasingly explicit text messages to a schoolgirl 40 years his junior was jailed.

Andrew Rogers appeared at Liverpool Crown Court to be sentenced for sexual communication with a child.

Rogers, 55, initially denied the charge but changed his plea to guilty as his trial was about to get underway.

The court heard that Rogers, who lives in South Croydon and works shifts at Gatwick airport, had only met his victim once, when she was 10 years old.

However, just before her 15th birthday, he began sending increasingly explicit Facebook messages to the schoolgirl at her Liverpool home.

Jonathan Rogers, prosecuting, said that in some of the messages, Rogers (no relation) would promise the girl money or an iPhone, and to show how much she wanted them by sending him pictures of herself.

In one exchange, Rogers referred to himself as a “dirty old man” and called her a “dirty schoolgirl.”

He also wanted to know if she was sleeping with boys, whether she fancied him, and whether she had seen “c**k” before.

“He repeatedly asked her to show him how much she loved him and how much she missed him, by sending him ‘a nice photo.’

“The messages became increasingly concerning.”

When the girl’s mum discovered the messages, she alerted police. However, Rogers initially denied the charge.

The girl’s mum, in her impact statement, said Rogers’ behaviour had had a “devastating effect” on her family.

It had led to the teenager, now 17, self-harming and threatening to commit suicide.

She added: “She should be going out and enjoying herself, instead she’s angry and depressed.”

Judge Denis Watson, QC, said: “The communications via Facebook messaging had an increasingly sexual theme to them.

“You made repeated requests for photos. Although she sent them, you weren’t satisfied with those and kept demanding others.

“I have absolutely no doubt you wanted a sexual pose.

“These were linked to offers by you of providing her with money, a phone, or both.

“Parts of this came close to grooming.”

Balding Rogers – who hung his head throughout most of the proceedings – was jailed for a total of 23 weeks.

He was also given a sexual harm prevention order and put on the sex offenders’ register for seven years in both cases.