Monday, September 16, 2013

NEWS: Pedophile Jailed in One of the Worst Ever Internet Abuse Cases

Paedophile Robert Hunter has been sentenced to to 12 years in prison
Photo Credit: PA

This news story flashed across my Bloomberg feed. Sickens me to no end being a father of 2 daughters. Parents - please be a part of your children's lives, know what sites they are going on, their chats, etc.

(TEL) Paedophile Jailed in One of the Worst Ever Internet Abuse Cases


Paedophile Jailed in One of the Worst Ever Internet Abuse Cases
2013-09-16 14:14:00.280 GMT

By Hayley Dixon and agencies
Sept. 16 (Telegraph) -- A prolific paedophile who blackmailed young girls from all over the world has been jailed in one of the worst cases of internet abuse the courts have ever seen.

The "sadistic exploitation" conducted by Robert Hunter - who often pretended he was pop star Justin Bieber to dupe his victims - was so extensive that Interpol launched an international hunt for him.

The 35-year-old, from Middlesbrough, had used sites such as Facebook, Skype and MSN to abuse girls as young as nine from across Europe, Asia, Canada and America, convincing the girls to expose themselves and perform sex acts on a webcam.

Teesside Crown Court heard that even after being arrested in December 2012, he continued to target children and this resulted in a girl from Tasmania eventually contacting police who traced him back to his home.

In total, over 800 videos and images were discovered on his computer, all of them having been made by the defendant.

Richard Bennett, prosecuting, said: "Over the course of 2010, 2011 and 2012, Hunter, using a number of online aliases, had pretended to a number of very young girls that he was a teenager.

"On each occasion he was able to disguise his true age and identity by the clever use of images of young boys or by pretending that his computer wasn't working properly.

"As a further demonstration of the naivety and innocence of his victims, he was also able to persuade some that he was the music artist Justin Bieber.

"He did this in order to dupe and encourage these young girls to strip on webcams and perform sex acts for him."

Hunter also blackmailed some of the victims into agreeing to his demands by threatening to make the videos he had already made of them public.

Sentencing Hunter to 12 years in prison, Judge Peter Bowers said it represented a callous and sadistic exploitation.

"This is one of the most serious cases on internet abuse that the courts have dealt with," he said.

"It's a warning to all parents of teenage children of what can be done via the internet. The public will be disgusted by how you have behaved even after you had been arrested and bailed.

"It represents callous and sadistic exploitation of a number of girls over a number of years."

Tamara Pawson, defending, said Hunter was remorseful for his actions and the distress he had caused.

In total, Hunter pleaded guilty to 30 offences, which included 15 charges of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and 14 of making indecent photos of children.

Sergeant Paul Higgins, from Cleveland Police, said: "Robert Hunter was a calculating and malicious predator who set out to coerce and bully young girls into exposing themselves over the internet.

"This investigation highlights the dangers that children face when conversing with people over the internet."

-0- Sep/16/2013 14:14 GMT



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