Wearside grandad who paid girl for naked pictures after messaging her on Instagram spared jail term
A grandad paid cash to a teenager in exchange for explicit images after approaching her over Instagram.
Barry Butterfield sent money via Pay Pal so he could receive pictures and videos of the 17-year-old.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the teen had initially claimed to be over 18 but Butterfield, 51, who pretended to be the same age, continued the exchanges even after he found out the truth.
Prosecutor Elizabeth Muir told Newcastle Crown Court Butterfield contacted the teen via direct message on the social media site and added: "He asked her for nude pictures of herself in exchange for money.
"She told him she was 18 or 19 but can't recall what age she said.
"He said he was the same age as her.
"She agreed she would provide photographs and she provided her Pay Pal details.
"The defendant initially credited £20 to her Pay Pal account and she in return sent a naked picture of herself.
"Over time she accepts that those pictures proceeded to be more graphic, sexual in nature and videos of herself performing sexual acts and the like.
"She said after she sent the first picture she felt under pressure to send more as she was aware the person she was chatting with already had some pictures of her."
The court heard Butterfield did eventually find out the girl's true age but the contact continued.
Miss Muir added: "There are some occasions when the contact is in fact made by her, wanting money for different reasons, for the gym, to go out, wanting money to make herself feel better when upset about other issues.
"She was told by the defendant she only gets money if she sends photographs."
Miss Muir said some of the explicit content of the images was also suggested by the teen, who was paid a total of £157.
The court heard Butterfield told police he wrongly believed it was legal to receive the images, even after he found out the girl's true age, as she was over 16.
The images, along with indecent photographs of children downloaded from the internet, were found when police raided Butterfield's home at Trafalgar Road, Washington, in November 2018 and seized his computer and phone.
He pleaded guilty to three offences of making indecent photographs of children.
The court heard, across the two devices, there were a total of 28 images and 10 movies in category A, which is the most serious, five in category B and 27 pictures plus one video in category C.
Judge Sarah Mallett sentenced Butterfield to 10 months imprisonment, suspended for 21 months, with 100 hours unpaid work.
He must sign the sex offenders register and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.
The judge said Butterfield's behaviour was "exploitative" but there was no suggestion he had mentioned or threatened that he would disclose the images he had.
Vic Laffey, defending, said: "He has made a complete fool of himself.
"It is certainly something that he got involved in that he shouldn't have got involved in."
Mr Laffey said Butterfield, who is in employment and has never been in trouble before, had believed the agreement was with an adult, "at least at the start".