Sutton Bridge pervert who asked teens to send him naked photos is jailed

PERVERT: Michael Roseberry
PERVERT: Michael Roseberry

A south Lincolnshire man who encouraged a string of under-age girls from across the UK to send him naked photographs online was today (Friday September 22) jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Michael Roseberry, 44, who lived in the Sutton Bridge area, lied about his age and targeted seven girls under 16.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Roseberry was caught after the mother of a 15-year-old girl found she had been talking to a man who claimed to be 17 on a social network.

Dawn Pritchard, prosecuting, said the mother checked her daughter’s phone and discovered the man talking to her daughter was in fact Roseberry.

Miss Pritchard said the girl had been sending Roseberry naked photographs and one of her touching herself.

Records showed Roseberry had also been sending the girl “controlling messages,” asking her to call him “Sir” or “Master,” and telling the girl how she could kill herself.

When Roseberry was arrested in April 2015 analysis of his laptop and phone showed he had been in contact with six other girls aged between 13 and 15.

“He had been contacting girls online and requesting naked pictures, it is clear he knew their ages,” Miss Pritchard added.

“Most of these girls were going through their GCSEs.”

His victims came from as far as Southampton and Merseyside, the court was told.

One of the girls sent Roseberry two naked photos of her bottom, while another sent him a photo of her wearing underwear after he threatened to tell her mother she was self-harming.

In a victim impact statement, one of the girls described how she had been “put through hell” and another said it was “too much to cope with”.

Roseberry, now of Gors Road, Towyn, North Wales, made no comment during interview, but pleaded guilty to nine offences of encouraging or inciting a child to engage in pornography and one offence of encouraging or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He also admitted possessing a small amount of low category indecent images and extreme images.

Stuart Lody, mitigating, told the court Roseberry never met any of his victims or saved any of the images.

Mr Lody said Roseberry’s guilty pleas also saved his victims from giving evidence.

The court heard Roseberry was the sole carer for his mother and lived an “isolated” life.

Passing sentence, Judge Simon Hirst told Roseberry his interview with the Probation Service had given him no indication of why he committed these offences.

The judge said: “It has given me some insight into you.”

Roseberry was also ordered to register as a sex offender for life and made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

DC Nigel Smith, of the child sexual exploitation team, said: “The offences Roseberry carried out were truly awful, he targeted young girls between 13 and 15 while himself pretending to be 17 or 18 years old on social media sites. He asked for them to send naked images to him and when he was in possession of the images, Roseberry used them to send more, telling the girls he would distribute the first ones to family members if they didn’t do as he asked. Although Rosebery pleaded guilty he has never shown any remorse for his actions.

“I am pleased with the sentence given to him by the judge today and hope that seeing him brought to justice offers some solace to his victims and will help them to move forward. This investigation took two-and-a-half years to reach its conclusion and I am grateful to colleagues in Lincolnshire Police who without their help we may not have traced the victims.

“I also hope it shows others that the police never stop working to bring to justice those who have acted unlawfully. If you have been a victim of a crime similar to this it is never too late to report it. If you are an offender who has carried out similar horrendous crimes then be assured that the police will catch up with you and ensure that you are held accountable.”

An NSPCC spokesman added: “Roseberry is every parent’s worst nightmare.

“He lied about his age and manipulated schoolgirls for his own sexual gratification with no regard for the harm he was inflicting on his victims.

“Sadly this case is an all-too-typical reminder of the dangers of online grooming.

“Parents can help keep children safe on the internet by having conversations with them about their online lives and encourage them to seek help whenever they need it.”

Expert advice is available on the charity’s Net Aware website or through the NSPCC and O2’s online safety helpline on 0808 800 5002.