PICTURED: Teenager’s snap that stopped armed paedophile snatching child from Portsmouth street

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Four homes are burgled

THIS was the shocking moment an armed paedophile tried to snatch a young schoolgirl from the street.

The girl, who cannot be named, snapped the photo as Roger Seath cornered her against a wall in Southsea.

Now as the 42-year-old pervert has been jailed, a judge praised the 14-year-old girl’s actions that made her would-be attacker freeze and alerted a group driving past.

The driver confronted Seath, as the terrified and tearful girl was led to safety, and police were called.

When police arrived Seath, who had threatened to spank the girl if she did not go with him, said ‘guilty as charged’.

He had followed the girl, matching her pace as she walked across the road to get away from him, prosecutor Robert Bryan said.

Sentencing Seath to 33 months in prison, judge Anne Arnold said: ‘This was a particularly vulnerable victim – a 14-year-old schoolgirl. She was certainly threatened by you with being spanked.

‘Because she, very fortunately, had been pre-warned by her parent, 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 she took your photograph, freezing your approach long enough to be assisted.’

After it was revealed Seath has no previous convictions, the judge added: ‘It 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.’

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 schoolgirl being approached.

Mr Bryan revealed Seath had spent the seven days after arriving in Portsmouth following schoolgirls and videoing them on his iPhone.

Footage played at Portsmouth Crown Court showed Seath walking just 2ft away from two other teenage girls, saying: ‘The smaller one is cuter through, 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 your getting.’

It was unclear if Seath had been talking on the phone to another person while recording, Mr Bryan said. 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.

He admitted attempted abduction with intent to commit a sexual offence and having a bladed article.

David Reid, mitigating, said Seath has little memory of the incident or the time leading up to it, and had the butter knife on him as he was homeless but living in a hotel.

‘He 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,’ he said.

Seath, previously of Osborne Road, Southsea, must sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years, and a lifetime order restricts his access to children. He must pay a £170 victim surcharge.

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