Thurcroft: Man sent sexually explicit messages to young girls age young as 10, court hears

Karl Astbury, of Thurcroft, was jailed for five-and-a-half years
Karl Astbury, of Thurcroft, was jailed for five-and-a-half years

A Thurcroft man has been locked up for five-and-a-half years for sending sexually explicit messages to young girls he met online.

One of 41-year-old Karl Astbury’s victims was just 10 years old, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Astbury, of Central Drive, pleaded guilty to seven counts of inciting a child under the age of 16 to engage in sexual activity and one count of possessing indecent images of children.

A police probe was launched after a father in Kent found sexually explicit messages from Astbury on his daughter’s computer.

Astbury’s home was raided and a number of electrical devices were seized.

Officers identified a number of victims, including one who was 10 years old.

Detective Constable Emma Shipley, the investigating officer, said: “Astbury’s offending spanned the country and our inquiry revealed a number of other victims who had been contacted and sent inappropriate sexual material.

“One victim was as young as 10-years-old. Astbury persisted in sending her and others explicit content, despite knowing the age of the girls he was speaking to.

“The young girls should be praised for their courage in talking to police about what happened to them and I hope that they are reassured by the police action taken to bring him before the courts.”