Paedophile who tried to snatch 14-year-old schoolgirl in the street and threatened to spank her is jailed after his quick-thinking victim snapped a photo of him with her phone.
Roger Seath, 45, cornered the girl in the street and threatened to ‘spank’ her if she did not go with him
The quick-thinking victim took a photo of him which caused her attacker to freeze
A passing motorist who confronted Seath as the girl got to safety
The defendant was sentenced to 33 months in prison
A quick-thinking schoolgirl snapped a photograph of the man who tried to snatch her from the street – and landed him 33 months in prison.
The girl, 14, who cannot be named for legal reasons, snapped the photo of Roger Seath, 45, as he cornered her against a wall, in Southsea, Hampshire.
It caused her attacker to freeze and a group driving past were alerted to what was going on before police were called.
The picture the victim took of Roger Seath as he cornered her against a wall and threatened to ‘spank’ her if she did not go with him
When police arrived Seath, who had threatened to ‘spank’ the girl if she did not go with him, said: ‘Guilty as charged’.
Judge Anne Arnold praised the teenager’s actions at Portsmouth Crown Court, where Seath was sentenced.
She said: ‘This was a particularly vulnerable victim in my view, a 14-year-old schoolgirl.
‘She was certainly threatened by you with being spanked if she didn’t go with you.
‘Because she, very fortunately, had been pre-warned by her parent and was an intelligent and alert girl with sufficient wherewithal to do exactly what she’d been told to do if approached by somebody such as yourself and that was why she took your photograph, freezing your approach long enough to be assisted.’
The girl had been told by her mother to take a photo of anyone who approached her or hit out if she was touched following a previous report of another schoolgirl being approached.
A motorist who was driving past when homeless Seath tried to grab the girl, confronted him as the terrified and tearful teenager was led to safety.
Robert Bryan, prosecuting, said the defendant had followed the girl, matching her pace as she walked across the road to get away from him.
The court heard Seath had spent his first week after arriving in Portsmouth, where he was staying in a hotel, following schoolgirls and videoing them on his iPhone.
Footage played in court showed him walking just two feet away from two other teenage girls, saying: ‘The smaller one is cuter though, the 14-year-old wasn’t interested, I offered her 20 quid and everything.
‘I’m going to have to go now, that’s all you’re getting.’
Seath had spent seven days following schoolgirls and videotaping them on his phone in Portsmouth.
Mr Bryan said it was unclear if Seath had been talking on the phone to another person while recording.
Two other videos showed him discreetly filming two girls on city streets.
Investigators found he had more than 300 images of girls from a social media network.
Chat logs showed he had messaged, called and tried to video call 10 young teenagers, including bombarding one girl he found online.
Seath made 4,246 searches on his phone in seven days – 600 a day – with the majority related to teenage girls.
David Reid, defending, said his client had little memory of the incident or the time leading up to it, and had a butter knife on him as he was homeless.
He added: ‘Roger Seath does recognise this young girl would have been very scared about what he did and the public in general would be concerned about his behaviour.’
Judge Arnold said: ‘[The fact you have no previous convictions] probably makes it all the more worrying that unpredictably you’ve committed this offence at this particular time in your life.’
She added: ‘You do appear to be a danger to children.’
Seath admitted attempted abduction with intent to commit a sexual offence and having a bladed article – the butter knife – in a public place.
He was sentenced to 33 months imprisonment and must sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years, as well as a lifetime order which restricts his access to children.
He must also pay a £170 victim surcharge.