[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 January, 2005, 17:34 GMT
'Cybersex' man given two years
Neil Ross
Ross was jailed for "cybersex'' sessions over the web
A man who admitted "cybersex" with a girl, 13, has been jailed for two years in what is thought to be the first case of its kind.

Neil Ross was warned at Alloa Sheriff Court that if he offends after his release he could be recalled and serve up to five years in prison.

The father-of-two was dealt with under new "extended sentencing" regulations.

Ross, 31 and formerly from Dundee but now of Dennistoun in Glasgow, was also put on the sex offenders' register.

Sheriff David Mackie said he believed Ross, who pleaded guilty to lewd and libidinous behaviour, posed a significant risk to children because he might offend again.

It is a matter of concern to me that you may not appreciate the gravity of the offence
Sheriff David Mackie

The sheriff said: "Because of the gravity of the offence I have come to the conclusion that the only appropriate way to deal with you is by a custodial sentence.

"It is a matter of concern to me that you may not appreciate the gravity of the offence."

Ross is understood to be the first person in Scotland to be charged with sexual offences against someone in a different room.

He met the girl through an internet chat room after filling in an online profile in which he described himself as 19.

The relationship with the girl, from Clackmannanshire, was conducted using a live weblink.

Sentence welcomed

The court was told it fitted the "classic pattern" of a paedophile preparing - or grooming - his victim for full sex.

Ross asked for a rendezvous in Stirling with the girl, who later admitted she was going to meet a man, although she still thought he was 19.

They groom the children, they try to meet up with them, that's how they go about their business
Det Sgt David Nolan
Central Scotland Police computer crime unit

Detective Sergeant David Nolan, who works for the computer crime unit with Central Scotland Police, said: "The internet's a wonderful place where children can go onto live webcams across the world, they can speak to friends and relatives on live webcams, but it does have its darker side where paedophiles can groom children.

"Paedophiles will log onto live chatrooms, they'll pretend that they're 13 or 14 years old, they could be 30s, 40s, anything like that, or even older.

"They groom the children, they try to meet up with them, that's how they go about their business."

Sandra Brown, of the abuse victims' charity The Moira Anderson Foundation, welcomed the sentence.

She said: "Ross clearly set out to dupe this child.

"We need strong sentencing and long jail terms for everyone like this. It was a horrendous pattern of behaviour."

Find out why the case could prove a landmark

Man admits 'cybersex' with girl
29 Nov 04 |  Scotland

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific