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Aldershot predator who posed as a 15 year old girl online jailed

3 minute read
Aldershot predator who posed as a 15 year old girl online jailed

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 3:12pm 5th June 2020. (Updated at 4:01pm 5th June 2020)

A 36-year-old man from Aldershot who posed as a teenage girl on social media to convince boys to send him sexually explicit photos has been jailed. 

James Utting of St Michael's Road appeared at Winchester Crown Court today (5 June) and has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. 

Utting had pleaded guilty to 43 offences of possessing and distributing indecent images of young boys from all around the UK, he also admitted another 116 offences to be taken into consideration.  

In total there were 401 victims all over the country including in Surrey and Hampshire. 

Arrest handcuffs police

 

The charges relate to 11 victims but police found images of 401 boys, many of them still unidentified. 

Victim impact statements from some of the victims and their families were read to the court demonstrating the ‘appalling’ consequences. 

Sentencing Utting, Her Honour Judge Jane Miller QC said:

“It’s right to say the impact statements showed the very real damage your actions caused the victims in this case. 

“Actions that could affect their whole lives. It is only hoped the boys will be able to pick themselves up and move forwards after this. I hope they understand that it wasn’t their fault. 

“The damage done was considerable. No court can risk that happening again. The public needs protection from you.” 

The offences were: 

  • Causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity
  • Causing a child to watch or look at an image of sexual activity
  • Distributing an indecent image of a child
  • Possessing an indecent image of a child 
  • Engaging in sexual communication with a child 

Utting pretended to be a 15-year-old girl on various social media platforms including Facebook. 

He asked his victims to send sexually explicit photos and videos to him, he would continue to ask them and if they refused he would threaten to send the photos to their school friends, their football team, their parents and their families. 

Eagle Radio spoke to Acting Detective Sergeant Wendy Harrison who said that on many occasions he did actually distribute the photos and videos and sent them to the rest of the school: 

"It's had a huge impact. 

"It's not just the boys that will now need support it's the parents. 

"We've had statements from parents who have questioned their parenting, saying 'having I worked too much' 'why did I not notice?'

"Some boys have had to change schools, they stopped playing football, they've stopped doing everything they love. 

"One boy said he didn't feel he could go to the shops anymore because he thought everyone was laughing at him and we've had boys threaten suicide because it's so impactful of them and their families."

Utting will have to serve at least two-thirds of his sentence before he is eligible for parole. 

He will be on the sexual offender's register and subject to sexual harm order for five years on his release.