'Agent' who tricked girl, 15, to send naked images jailed

Image caption,
O'Neill was sentenced to four years in prison at Dundee Sheriff Court

A man who posed as a modelling agent to get a 15-year-old girl to send him naked images has been jailed for four years.

Andrew O'Neill, 21, from Dundee, used a fake name and profile picture of a woman in her 20s to persuade the girl to send the photographs in July 2016.

After she refused to send more pictures, O'Neill threatened to send them to friends and family.

The abuse came to light when the mother became aware and contacted police.

O'Neill's home in Dundee's Baxter Park area was raided and police found evidence of his online scam, as well as child abuse images on his laptop, tablet and phone.

He was told by a sheriff that one of the images he was found with "might be described as an image of an atrocity".

Fiscal depute Nicola Gillespie told Dundee Sheriff Court, O'Neill's victim had been contacted by him on Facebook.

He was using the pseudonym "Jennifer Watts" on a profile that described her as a "modelling agent".

Miss Gillespie said the teenager he targeted had "high functioning autism" and could remember events very clearly.

"He asked her for clothed pictures," she said. "She was reluctant but he persuaded her.

"He later asked for pictures of her in her underwear and again she was reluctant but was persuaded."

After sending the photo in her underwear, he went on to persuade her to send more pictures, including ones fully naked.

He did not contact her again for over a week, leading to her become suspicious.

After he asked again, the girl became adamant that she would not send more pictures to O'Neill.

He then sent a topless photo of the girl to two of her friends.

'Deliberate deception'

Miss Gillespie added: "He threatened to send the images to family and friends on Facebook if she didn't send more.

"The girl's mother then became aware and contacted police."

O'Neill, 21, pleaded guilty on indictment to charges of attempted extortion committed between 1 July 2016 and 14 September 2016.

He also pled guilty to taking or making indecent images of children between 11 July 2016 and July 31 2016.

Sheriff Alastair Brown jailed O'Neill for four years and placed him on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

He said: "You constructed a deliberate deception in which you ensnared a vulnerable child.

"You exploited that successful deception to obtain photos of her partially undressed and ultimately obtaining naked photos.

"You went on to download indecent images of children which included an image of the actual rape of a real five-year-old child."