Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram used by Berkshire criminals

THE WORLD ended yesterday (not literally) when Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram crashed (literally).

Their downfalls meant we could not chat with friends, post pictures of our cats or complain local Facebook groups about something happening down the road.

While the majority of people use social media in a harmless and fun way, some people don’t.

Here are some people who have been convicted of crimes they committed using Facebook, Instagram or social media.

Steven Partridge

The 41-year-old, of Delamere Road, Earley, was spared jail in what a Crown Court judge described as an ‘unusual case’ despite his actions being described as ‘despicable’, ‘terrible’ and ‘perturbing’.

A court heard how the 41-year-old downloaded images of his friend’s daughter down from and another young girl from Facebook and sent them to a paedophile chat room.

The Earley man, who posed online as ‘Jake Parsons’ when sending the images, was forced to listen as the mother of the girl he posted images of laid into him at his sentencing.


The mother said he asked her to go on dates several times but she refused, and claimed she now realised he was ‘trying to get to my daughter’.

She said: “I’m paranoid all the time. I no longer post pictures on my social media.”

Partridge received a six-month suspended sentence for six counts of publication of an obscene article after Judge Dugdale suggested the 41-year-old’s time would be better spent getting rehabilitation rather than in prison.

Partridge received a six-month suspended sentence for six counts of publication of an obscene article after Judge Dugdale suggested the 41-year-old’s time would be better spent getting rehabilitation rather than in prison.

Ian Philips

Ian Philips, of Keepers Coombe, Bracknell, was given a six-month suspended prison sentence for sending an ‘offensive’ message to a girl he used to take to school and for possessing more than 50 indecent images of children and animals.

The 58-year-old, who appeared at Reading Crown Court on Thursday, May 13, was sentenced after pleading guilty to three counts of making indecent photographs of a child, one count of possessing an extreme pornographic image of an animal, and one count of sending a communication with an offensive message.

Philips used to drive the girl to school in a minibus with other children.


Years later, he messaged her over Facebook in texts which were “benign at first, but increased in their intensity.”

Prosecuting, Jack Wright said Phillips sent the girl a message which read: “Hey sexy girl, how are you? Can I kidnap you and tie you up?”

The girl was said to be ‘shocked’ at this message and told her carers about it.

Police then spoke to Phillips, seizing his mobile phone and computer where they found more than 50 indecent images and videos of children and animals.

Anthony Gillam

Prison time will not be served by a Bracknell man who arranged to meet up for sex with a fake 13-year-old girl.

Anthony Gillam, of Warfield Park, Bracknell, messaged a decoy Facebook account which was posing as the young girl back in June 2018.

Despite being told she was just 13 years old, Gillam arranged for them to meet at Premier Inn hotel in Slough.

Continuing to message her, the 50-year-old asked her for topless photos and told her not to tell her mother about the hotel booking.

However, Gillam cancelled the hotel on the day the pair was supposed to meet.


Following this, the woman behind the Facebook account contacted paedophile hunting group ‘No Excuses.’

Defence counsel argued time behind bars would not benefit Gillam, and that rehabilitation activities were more appropriate.

Judge Kirsty Real agreed with this argument, telling Gillam he would serve a suspended sentence instead.

David Booth

A Newbury man who called himself ‘Dishy Dave’ was jailed for nearly three years after sending ‘explicit’ sexual messages to a police officer pretending to be a 12-year-old girl.

David Booth, of Riverdale Court, Newbury, told the decoy she was his ‘sexy little secret’ and tried to arrange meet-ups at hotels.


David Booth will spend years behind bars. Image via Linkedin.

David Booth will spend years behind bars. Image via Linkedin.


The 53-year-old sent the messages over Oasis and WhatsApp over a one-month period between September and October 2020 before he was arrested in January 2021.


He started sending the messages after he went through a “tough time” having been made redundant.

But last month a judge sentenced him to a 32-month prison sentence after telling him this did not explain why he chose to engage in sexual conversation with a 12-year-old.

Ashley Hutton

Maidenhead man Hutton was told to keep away from a woman he spied on using recording devices in her home and car.

Ashley Hutton, of Maidenhead Court Park, admitted to stalking a woman in Bracknell between October and December 2020.

The 37-year-old did this by placing recording devices in her home and car, restricting her use of Wi-Fi, redirecting her mail, posting about her on Instagram and searching through her belongings.


Appearing at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Friday, August 13, Hutton was told to take part in up to 25 rehabilitation activity days.

He was also ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and pay £180 in court fees.

Hutton was told he must not contact the victim unless through a solicitor until August 2023.


No one was prosecuted for this offence, but Windsor and Maidenhead community police chief Jeffrey Pick posted about this incident back in June.

A young man whose face was photoshopped onto a naked body paid £275 to scammers who threatened to send the video to ‘everyone in his address book.’

The Ascot resident was contacted by a woman online before they started messaging on social network site Instagram.

Here, she asked him to show her his body, but sent her a picture of himself fully-clothed instead.


Shortly after this, the woman demanded money or she said she would send a video of his face on a naked body — performing an intimate act — to everyone in his address book.

He sent her £150 before she demanded more money and he sent another £125.

The man then blocked the person he was talking to, who is believed to be based in the Philippines.

Police have advised him not to send more money, block the person online and to be more cautious in future.

We’ve set up a new Facebook group where you can find all the most interesting court and crime stories from around Berkshire.

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Slough Observer | News