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Serial paedophile jailed for 25 years for targeting young boys on Facebook

KIRSTEAD GREEN, UK: A man who posed as teenage girls online and blackmailed 51 boys into sending him indecent images of themselves has been jailed for 25 years.

David Wilson, 36, of King’s Lynn, Norfolk, admitted 96 offences in November at Ipswich Crown Court.

In some cases, he threatened to share indecent images of the boys online unless they sent him footage of them abusing younger siblings or friends.

The judge described Wilson as “extremely dangerous” and “sadistic”.

The court heard some of the children who were groomed to abuse others had been arrested and one was now in a children’s home.

Wilson approached boys on Facebook and other social media platforms.

After building trust, he would send nude photos of young women in exchange for pictures and videos of the boys.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) said he would then blackmail his victims into sending him more extreme footage, in some cases forcing them to abuse friends or younger siblings.

In several occasions, he sent the images of the victims to their friends.

The judge described Wilson as “extremely dangerous” and “sadistic”.

The court heard some of the children who were groomed to abuse others had been arrested and one was now in a children’s home.

Wilson’s victims were aged between four and 14 and his crimes took place between 2016 and 2020, the NCA said.

He was arrested by the Agency in August last year during a raid on his mother’s home, where he also lived.

Wilson was sentenced overnight to 25 years prison after admitting to 96 sex offences to boys aged between four and 14.

Judge Rupert Overbury described him as a “serial paedophile”.

“You demonstrated a complete and utter disregard for every child you manipulated irrespective of their age,” Judge Overbury told Wilson.

“There was a sadistic element to your offending including blackmail and relentless targeting of vulnerable children who often pleaded for mercy.

“You are in my judgement an extremely dangerous individual who has a perverted and sadistic sexual interest in young boys.”

Wilson preyed on the vulnerability of his victims, said the Agency’s Tony Cook.

“David Wilson has absolutely devastated not only his victims but the families they belong to,” he said.

“He groomed, bullied and blackmailed young boys into sending him indecent images and in some instances performing horrific abuse on themselves and others.

“Despite knowing their utter anguish and despair he ignored their pleas for him to stop.”

Wilson approached more than 5,000 boys on Facebook, with at least 500 sending him sexual images of themselves.

Several of his victims were so traumatised they spoke of ending their lives.

The majority of Wilson’s crimes were committed on Facebook, with the social media giant making 90 referrals about his offending.

But the National Crime Agency slammed Facebook for its plans to encrypt its messenger service.

“Facebook’s plans are a disaster for child safety and law enforcement and mean the very many other David Wilsons out there will not be caught,” the Agency’s director of threat leadership Rob Jones said.

“Criminals will be drawn to Facebook, emboldened and confident it’s a place they can search for children to sexually abuse with complete impunity.

“Facebook Messenger is already strongly encrypted, enabling them to detect grooming and known abuse images while protecting privacy.”

“There are two billion people on Facebook and we know a large number of them are targeting children to abuse them.

Jones said it was not too late for Facebook to change their minds about encrypting messages.

“In 2019 Facebook made 15.8 million global referrals of child sexual abuse material, they have been a huge help to lawful investigations and child safeguarding.”

“But their plans will create a haven for child sex offenders to congregate to target children.”

The mother of one of Wilson’s victims spoke of her concern over Facebook’s plan to bring in end-to-end encryption of messages on the platform.

“I’m eternally grateful that David Wilson was caught,” she said.

“I think that if it becomes too difficult for law enforcement agencies to track these people then we won’t be able to protect our children and people like him will be able to get away with it.”

A spokeswoman for Facebook said: “Child exploitation and grooming have no place on our platform.

“Facebook has led the industry in developing new ways to prevent, detect, and respond to abuse and we will continue to work with law enforcement to combat criminal activity.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “This sickening case is a chilling reminder of how crucial it is that tech companies play their part in combating child sexual abuse.

“It is vital that Facebook do not press ahead without amending their current end-to-end-encryption plans, otherwise sick criminals like David Wilson could still be abusing children with impunity.”