A PAEDOPHILE has been sent to prison for almost two years for blackmailing two girls he wanted to send him semi-naked photos of themselves.
David Armstrong, of Park Road in Ashington, tormented the youngsters for months, sending them explicit text messages and bullying one into sending him pictures.
Even when the girls begged him to stop and said they were going to tell their parents, the 24-year-old, pictured, continued to threaten them, Newcastle Crown Court heard last week.
Judge Guy Whitburn described the case as one of the worst of its kind he had ever seen.
As well as putting the father of two behind bars for 21 months, Judge Whitburn ordered him to sign on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.
Armstrong pleaded guilty to two counts of intentionally causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity carried out between April and November last year.
The court heard that the threats he made to the girls about posting pictures on Facebook claiming to be them had made them feel uncomfortable.
He told one of them that if she didn’t send a picture of herself in a bra, he would post a similar photograph on the social networking site anyway and say it was her.
Anne Richardson, prosecuting, said: “One of the victims said it made her feel uncomfortable and nervous and quite scared because he was older and she knew it was wrong.”
The court heard how Armstrong had bought underwear for his partner at the time, but because it didn’t fit, he approached the girls and offered it to them.
Miss Richardson said: “It appears the girls were bombarded with texts.”
In one set of text messages, Armstrong told one of the victims she had just ten minutes to send a picture of herself to him.
When she asked ‘why are you doing this to me?’ he replied: ‘you have done nowt wrong. I just want a pic. I always get what I want’.
He then continued to text her, telling her ‘you’ve got three minutes now’.
The court heard that Armstrong told police he did what he did out of boredom and loneliness, and he now accepted that he should never have sent the messages.
Defence barrister Michael Hedley said: “It’s a case where while it is horrific and awful, there has been no touching, no contact.
“No contact of any kind has taken place.
“He admits that he was totally wrong.”
Armstrong was told by Judge Whitburn that his explanation that the first text he sent, including a picture of himself, was an accident was not accepted.
Judge Whitburn said: “You sent a whole series of wholly inappropriate text messages.
“The escalation was extremely difficult for the children – for that’s what they are – to accept or cope with.
“What you were doing was blackmailing both of the children.
“You were putting enormous pressure on young and impressionable girls.”