November 2011

Sussex magazine publisher’s pic of naked teen

A magazine publisher photographed a naked teenager as she slept.

Roger Booth was spared jail yesterday (November 24)after admitting voyeurism and taking an indecent image of a child.

He was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for ten years and banned from unsupervised contact with under-18s.

Booth, 64, of High Street, Hurstpierpoint, began publishing Sussex Living, a free magazine in the Mid-Sussex area, in 2005.

In May 2010, he took a photograph of a 17-year-old girl on his iPhone as she lay naked on his bed after a night out.

Judge Charles Kemp, sentencing Booth at Hove Crown Court, told him: “You, then aged 63, took advantage of a 17-year-old girl in, what some would regard as, the most flagrant and disgusting way.”

He contacted the girl through Facebook and bought her gifts, including a mobile phone.

He then invited her out for dinner to discuss how, as a publisher, he might help her in her plans to become a singer.

The court was told he refilled her glass as she drank four or five glasses of wine at a Brighton restaurant on May 29.

She said she got drunk and next remembers waking up naked in his bed at his home in Hurstpierpoint, and the sound of a picture being taken.

The girl left the following morning but told her mother and contacted police after Booth admitted he had “taken advantage of her”.

Oliver Dunkin, defending Booth, said he had deleted the picture immediately.

He said the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had discussed nude modelling with Mr Booth.

He said: “He did on that night, in a moment, give in to temptation.”

The court was told Booth had resigned as publisher of Sussex Living because advertisers pulled out when they heard about the criminal charge.

He was given a 12-month jail sentence suspended for two years, given a year’s probation supervision and was ordered to do 180 hours’ unpaid work.

He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for ten years and given a five-year sexual offences prevention order.

This means he cannot have unsupervised contact with anyone under 18, cannot have anyone under 18 in his house, and cannot employ any female staff under the age of 18.