At the High Court in Glasgow Lord Pentland sentenced James Trigwell to 5 years and four months in prison after he pled guilty to sexual offending against children.

On sentencing Lord Pentland made the following statement in court

“James Trigwell, you have pled guilty to an amended indictment served on you under the expedited procedure allowed for by section 76 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995.  The indictment contains 23 charges amounting to a sustained course of sexual offending against children between about August 2011 and September 2012. 

Throughout that period you sent a substantial number of sexually explicit and indecent text messages by means of the BlackBerry messaging service, known as BBM, to a total of 21 teenage girls in different parts of the United Kingdom.  The victims were aged between 13 and 15. With one exception, to which I will refer shortly, you never met any of these girls in person. The messages you sent sought to induce the recipients to take intimate photographs of themselves and send them to you, to perform sexual acts on themselves in accordance with your instructions and encouragement and to look at sexual images you sent them.  In short, you were attempting to groom these children by encouraging them to engage in sexual activities and share their experiences with you.

It must be stressed that all your victims were children and you were a mature man in your mid-twenties with considerable sexual experience. You must have appreciated that you had no right to seek to corrupt these young girls in the way you did. They were emotionally vulnerable and sexually naïve.  I take the view that your conduct amounted to calculated and persistent sexual abuse of these children and that your motive was your own sexual gratification. In these circumstances, I am in no doubt that I must take a very serious view of your criminality.

Matters are made even worse by the fact that in the case of one girl you encouraged a relationship to develop to the point where you arranged to meet her and attempted to have sexual intercourse with her.  At the time she was 13.

I have listened carefully to everything that has been submitted today on your behalf and I have closely considered the various reports before me.  I acknowledge that you have no previous convictions and that you have now expressed regret and remorse for what you did. However, none of the considerations referred to or any of the experiences or difficulties you have had can begin to excuse the sexually abusive conduct in which you chose to indulge.

It is important that those who might be disposed to misuse modern technology and methods of electronic communication for the purpose of making contact with and sexually abusing children understand that they are liable to be severely punished when brought to justice.  Children must be protected against such conduct. Society abhors the sexual abuse of children and the court has a duty to reflect that abhorrence in the sentences it imposes.

I take the view that all the charges on the indictment amount to a single course of criminal conduct and that it is, therefore, appropriate to impose a cumulo sentence. Had you not pled guilty this would have been a sentence of 8 years imprisonment.  I accept that your early plea of guilty had a number of utilitarian advantages in that your victims did not require to come to court to give evidence and a full prosecution and trail were averted.  In the exercise of the discretion vested in me, I shall modify the sentence to one of 5 years and 4 months imprisonment.

The sentence will be backdated to 12 June 2013 when you were first remanded in custody.

You will remain subject to the notification requirements applying to sexual offenders for the remainder of your life.  Your name will be added to the list of persons deemed unsuitable to work with children or other vulnerable groups”.