Man jailed for grooming Sheffield teenager

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A man has been jailed for two-and-a-half years after grooming a Sheffield teenager he met on the internet and persuading her to send him indecent photographs.

James Ross-Nichol, aged 27, was caught after police officers examined his victim’s phone fearing that she was at risk of sexual exploitation.

During a detailed search of the phone, scores of images were uncovered from more than 1,000 text messages sent to a phone number belonging to Ross-Nichol.

Ross-Nichol, of Little Lever, Bolton, was charged with two counts of making indecent photographs and one count of inciting sexual activity with a child and admitted the offences when he appeared at Sheffield Crown Court.

Detective Inspector Ian Fidler said: “This was a crime that began and continued solely in an online environment.

“Over a number of months he maintained contact with the teenager, gaining her trust before encouraging her to send indecent images via text message.”

South Yorkshire Police launched the investigation in September last year despite the girl never making a formal complaint to officers.

Using the phone records, detectives were able to prove that the offences had happened between June and September last year, when the girl was 14.

DI Fidler said: “This should send a stark message to any teenager and parent alike – think twice about who you, or your children, are talking to over the internet.”

South Yorkshire Police has made tackling the sexual exploitation of children a priority after being criticised for a lack of action over previous years.

Call the force on 101 with information.