Cumbria Crack

Judge pleads for urgent online action to “protect our children”

David Mitchell

[A] JUDGE who jailed a Carlisle man for “despicable” online sex crimes has pleaded with authorities to take urgent action and “protect our children”.

His Honour Peter Davies spoke out after locking up David Nelson Mitchell for nine years and four months at the city’s crown court.

Judge Davies heard how 49-year-old Mitchell repeatedly preyed on two girls over Skype by pretending to be a teenage boy. He then set up further fake profiles as he blackmailed his victims and threatened to expose their intimate acts.

Mitchell, of Granville Road, Carlisle admitted seven child sex crimes, was told his offending had been “despicable, nasty and brutal”.

Passing sentence, Judge Davies called for social media sites – and private chats – to be rigorously monitored by authorities.

“There should be systems and methods in place that expose and identify people like you before you are allowed to cause these problems,” he said in his address to Mitchell, of Granville Road.

“These courts plead for internet companies and organisations to police these social media devices. Let us protect our children.”

Detective Constable Ryan Parker, Digital Media Investigation Unit, said: “Mitchell is a predator who used two aliases to target his victim and demand her to engage in sexual activity fully knowing her age.

“The victim’s mother told the court of how Mitchell has stolen her daughter’s innocence, which truly shows the impact Mitchell’s actions have had on the victim and her loved ones. I would like to praise her and her family for the courage they have shown during our investigation.

“It is very difficult in this day and age for parents to protect their children online from predators such as Mitchell. I would encourage parents and guardians to speak with their children regularly about what they are doing online and who they are communicating with.

“We will continue to work each day to make Cumbria safer by investigating those who abuse children.

“We encourage anyone who has any suspicions of any sort of abuse to contact us so we can investigate.”


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