AN Ellesmere Port man who incited three underage girls to engage in sexual activity via Snapchat messaging has been jailed.
Jamie Dutton, 30, of Parklands, Little Sutton, had previously pleaded guilty to three counts, which happened when two of the girls were 13 and the other was 14.
Recorder Michael Hayton KC, sentencing at Chester Crown Court on Thursday, November 16, said the offences were so serious only an immediate custodial sentence was appropriate. He jailed Dutton for two years and nine months.
A mother of one of the girls fought back tears as she gave a victim impact statement saying she felt "angry and betrayed" and hoped the defendant would realise the "pain he has caused" to her family, as her 13-year-old daughter had blamed herself for what had happened and had self-harmed.
Prosecuting, Karl Scholz said Dutton had messaged the first of his victims, a 13-year-old girl, on Snapchat in June 2019. Initially he asked her how she was and what she was doing, but subsequent messages told her to "smile more" and he said "she was fit".
On one occasion the defendant noted she was wearing a vest top, and he asked her to pull that down. She refused but he persisted, and the girl blocked him on Snapchat. Dutton messaged her the following day on Instagram and she blocked him on that social network too.
The victim told her mother, who messaged Dutton to ask what he had been saying. He responded he had said "only how she was" and how she was doing at school.
The girl declined to give a victim impact statement.
The second victim was a 14-year-old girl at the time in July 2020.
Dutton messaged her on Snapchat and asked her to lower her phone as she had come out of the shower and was wearing a towel. She refused. The defendant said he was "horny as hell" and began to pleasure himself, showing the victim his penis. The girl ended the call. Dutton called the next day with the message "Hello beautiful".
Police delays meant it was nearly two years before Dutton was interviewed on this and handed bail conditions.
The girl, in a victim impact statement, said she had struggled with her mental health as a result and had "shakes" she could not control, and was struggling to sleep four years on.
The lack of bail conditions "worried" the victim until they were belatedly imposed, when she felt "more at ease".
Mr Scholz said the third victim was 13 at the time in April 2022 when Dutton had been messaging her, which included a message: "Is it weird that I have just had an image of you sitting in my lap facing me?"
Dutton had asked for sexual pictures of the girl and had messaged to say he wanted her to touch him in a sexual way. He added for her not to tell anyone: "This is our secret".
The girl said she felt "uncomfortable and ashamed" and she had struggled with her mental health as a result of Dutton's offending.
Dutton, in police interview, said the allegations were "completely untrue" and he was "hurt and upset", but he later pleaded guilty to the charges.
He had no previous convictions.
Mark Connor, defending, said Dutton knew his behaviour was "reprehensible and he is deeply ashamed", acknowledging it had been a "problem for some time" and he had "made a mess of things".
The defendant had suffered a bereavement the previous day when his father passed away.
Mr Connor said there was a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.
Recorder Hayton said families had been "torn apart" by what had happened, and the sole person to blame for that was Dutton, adding it was "not one-off behaviour".
He said Dutton's actions had caused "huge pain", emotionally, mentally and physically.
As well as the custodial sentence, Dutton was handed a restraining order preventing contact with any of his victims until further order.
He was also handed an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order preventing him from contacting girls aged under 16 and restricting his internet usage. Indefinitely, he is also subject to notification requirements.