A DELIVERY driver who manipulated two Bridgwater schoolgirls by encouraging them to send him indecent photos and videos of themselves has escaped a prison sentence.

Steven Jenkins, 21, “flattered” the two 15-year-olds by telling them nice things so they would send him sexual images.

He threatened to kill himself if they didn’t comply, forcing one of his concerned victims to tell a teacher of his demands.

Jenkins pleaded guilty to two counts of causing or inciting child prostitution or pornography and was given a three-year community order at Taunton Crown Court today (February 17).

Sentencing, Judge Graham Hume Jones said: “It is well known unfortunately that some young people are using their telephones in order to transmit incidents of sexual activity.

“This is mostly, in my understanding, done out of bravado and showing off. Children ought to be protected from that sort of activity.

“You degraded these children and caused them concern when they discovered they had been duped in to this sort of behaviour.”

The court heard Jenkins, of Headington, Oxford, contacted one of the teenagers when she put a message out on Blackberry Messenger saying she was “depressed”.

Prosecuting, Janice Eagles said Jenkins flattered her to make her feel better before “growing close” and requesting indecent pictures.

It was said one victim sent him ten to 15 pictures and two videos while the other sent around 20 photos.

Jenkins threatened to kill himself if they refused, but his actions came to light in July after one of the girls told her teacher what had been happening.

When arrested in December, Jenkins told officers he did not realise it was an offence to request images from girls 16 to 18 and said he did not appreciate the age of the girls.

Defending, Patrick Mason said: “He is a delivery driver for a national company and is in a well paid job. He is not sure if he will remain in a job because he has not told his employers about this yet.

“His feeling is he will probably be sacked.”

Jenkins was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register, undertake the Thames Valley Sex Offenders’ programme and pay costs of £350.