Belfast Telegraph

Male posed as girl to get teen boys to send naked photos

By Ashleigh McDonald

A male who posed as a 16-year-old girl in order to get teenage boys to send naked images and videos of themselves via Facebook has had his sentence deferred for six months.

The defendant, who was 17 at the time, managed to hoodwink around 50 teenage boys into sending images of themselves to a person they believed to be a girl called Sarah-Louise.

A court order has been imposed under the defendant's human rights banning any details which could lead to his identification being published.

The accused, who is now 21, admitted a total of 18 offences, which were carried out when he was legally a child over a period spanning from 2011 and 2012.

He admitted multiple charges of inciting a child to engage in a sexual act, as well as possessing indecent images of children, distributing an indecent photograph of a child and possessing an extreme pornographic image.

The man, who was released from custody last December for separate sexual offences, is currently on licence and is working with probation services to address his behaviour.

Deferring sentence to allow this work to continue, Judge Paul Ramsey QC said he wanted the defendant to continue working on "risk-reducing changes".

As a previous hearing Crown prosecutor Kate McKay said that on March 12, 2012, a report was made to police regarding a young male who had been contacted on Facebook by a 16-year-old girl called 'Sarah-Louise'.

Sarah-Louise - who it turned out was the defendant posing as a girl - had asked the teenage male in question to send "her" naked pictures of himself. The schoolboys were aged between 12 and 15, while the defendant was 17.

Among the images found were pictures and videos sent by the schoolboys to Sarah-Louise, and also an image of the Sarah-Louise persona which was sent to the unwitting boys.

Also located on the accused's iPad were web-chat conversations, which displayed evidence of inciting children to engage in sex acts.

When arrested, the defendant was interviewed four times and refused to speak. It emerged during interview that he was on bail for a number of similar offences, and had breached his bail conditions as he shouldn't have been using the internet.

He later admitted he had posed as Sarah-Louise in order to contact the schoolboys.

He also told police that he was confused about his sexuality.

Judge Ramsey postponed sentencing until November 5.

Belfast Telegraph


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