[A] man who possessed indecent images of children and blackmailed young girls into sending indecent images of themselves to him has today been jailed for 12 months.
Cameron Longstaff, 20, targeted two 12 year old girls on social media under a false name in 2014. He threatened to publish the initial images on social media if he was not sent more explicit ones, and did so when he was refused.
Throughout the police investigation, he repeatedly denied that he was responsible for a larger collection of indecent images on his computer, or responsible for the threats and distributing indecent images on the internet. He claimed that others had used his account and that his computer account may have been hacked.
Longstaff of Hurley Road, Little Corby was found guilty of all seven offences following a six day trial at Carlisle Crown Court in December 2017.
He was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention order for 10 years and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.
Detective Constable Mark Singleton said: “Longstaff was a danger to young girls who he would engage in online conversation with. He demanded nude images from the two victims in this case under a fake profile.
“He caused one of the victims considerable suffering by forwarding the images she had sent him to people she knew. He did this out of spite and has shown no remorse for any of his actions. Longstaff attempted to deflect responsibility for his actions onto another party which caused distress to that individual.
“It is important that young people realise the dangers that lurk online as there are people out there who are intent on exploiting children for their own sexual gratification.
“We encourage anyone who has any suspicions of any sort of abuse to contact us so we can investigate.”
Stuart Pattinson, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the CPS said: “The CPS and police worked closely to build a compelling case against Cameron Longstaff, demonstrating that he was responsible for collecting indecent images on his computer whilst operating a false identity to blackmail his victims. As a result, a jury found him guilty of all the offences he faced.
“I would like to highlight the bravery and resilience of the young victims and witnesses involved in the case, and the outstanding investigation conducted by Cumbria Constabulary which has assisted us in bringing this man to justice.”
An NSPCC spokesperson said: “Longstaff manipulated and bullied his young victims into sending intimate images of themselves for his own depraved sexual gratification.
“He then cruelly shared the images of one of the girls with her Facebook friends, putting her through further trauma. It is vital that these girls now receive the support they need to move forward.
“To stop offenders like Longstaff the NSPCC is calling on the Government to introduce a mandatory code of conduct that will require social networks to create safe accounts for under 18s with extra protections in place, such as grooming alerts.”