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One of UK’s worst paedos posed as girls online so young boys would send him pics

A prolific paedophile posed as girls online to get young boys to send him indecent images of themselves, leaving some of his victims suicidal.

David Wilson, 36, was jailed for 25 years on Wednesday at Ipswich Crown Court.

He was prosecuted for 96 child sex abuse offences relating to 52 victims, but the National Crime Agency (NCA) said it has evidence that he approached more than 5,000 children globally.

The agency said as many as 500 of them sent abuse material to Wilson, of Kirstead, King's Lynn, Norfolk.

Police had called Wilson "one of the UK's most prolific child abusers".

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He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing at the same court to all 96 counts.

Wilson will serve a further eight years on extended licence when his prison term ends.

The former roofer set up a series of fake social media profiles, using unregistered phones, to send images of girls from the internet to young boys in exchange for the boys sending him videos and images of themselves, the NCA said.

He then threatened to distribute these online unless they sent more extreme footage of themselves, in some cases of them abusing younger siblings or friends, the agency said.

All 52 victims in the case were all boys aged between four and 14 and the offending happened between May 2016 and April 2020.

The offences included causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, causing a child to watch a sexual act, and arranging or facilitating the sexual exploitation of a child.

Wilson also admitted making unwarranted demands for indecent images of a child with menace, threatening to post an indecent image on social media if they did not comply.

He would not have been brought to justice without evidence from Facebook, according to the NCA.

Rob Jones, the agency's director of threat leadership, said the social media giant's proposed move to an end-to-end encryption privacy model "poses an existential threat to child protection" online.

A Facebook spokesman said: "Child exploitation and grooming have no place on our platforms."

Susie Hargreaves, chief executive of the Internet Watch Foundation, said: "This kind of offending is becoming a marked threat to children and, sadly, we are seeing more and more material being shared online which children have been tricked, bullied, coerced, or blackmailed into making themselves.

"We know there are whole communities of predators out there, and that they are looking to contact children and abuse them from afar, often in the apparent safety of their own bedrooms.

If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 0845 30 30 900 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.

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