South Yorkshire pervert who pressured teen for explicit pictures walks free from court

An ‘obsessive’ South Yorkshire pervert who hounded a teenager with hundreds of explicit messages and followed her home from work has avoided jail.

By Sophie Wills
Wednesday, 8th July 2020, 6:49 pm

Grant McNeil, 22, pressured his teenage victim into sending photographs of herself to him after harassing her online for several months.

McNeil, from Doncaster, then shared these photographs more widely- using the online aliases ‘Grant the Funny One’ and ‘Grant the Funny’.

Investigating Officer PC Sam Egan-Wyer said McNeil was ‘obsessive’, often sending his victim ‘hundreds of messages in a single day’.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Grant McNeil, 22, pressurised his teenage victim into sending photographs of herself to him after harassing her online for several months.

“McNeil’s messages became grossly offensive and intimidating, as he desperately tried to coerce her into sending him photographs of herself,” he added.

“As the victim blocked McNeil, he would set up more social media accounts, finding new ways and identities to continue harassing her. One day, McNeil’s victim looked at her phone to find 70 unread messages, 10 missed calls and countless snapchat and Instagram messages.

“His offending wasn’t just online, he also followed his victim home from work to find out where she lived.

“This sustained harassment has been incredibly distressing for this young woman, who has been left in fear of leaving the house.

“I want her to know that I think she has been incredibly brave throughout this investigation and I commend her for taking steps to report McNeil’s crimes.”

McNeil, of Grangefield Avenue, pleaded guilty to stalking involving fear of violence and the distribution of an indecent photograph of a child on March 2 at Sheffiel Crown Court.

On Monday (July 6), he received a suspended prison sentence of one year and four months.

McNeil was also placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years and is subject to a five year sexual harm prevention order.

PC Egan-Wyer added: “This order places certain conditions on an offender. In this case, McNeil is not to use any apps capable of deleting conversations, he is also prevented from being in the company of, or seeking the company of, any woman or girl under 18 unless supervised.

“If any of these conditions are breached it can result in up to a five-year prison sentence and or a fine.”

He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £140.

Editor's message: Thank you for reading this story. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on our advertisers and thus our revenues. The Star is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. You can subscribe here for unlimited access to Sheffield news and information online. Every subscription helps us continue providing trusted, local journalism and campaign on your behalf for our city.