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​ Man who groomed boys online jailed

News   •   Sep 12, 2017 11:37 BST

A man who posed online as a teenage girl and coerced boys aged 11 to 15 into sending naked images of themselves has been jailed.

Phillip Rogers, 21 (21.04.96), of Mallards Way, Wallington, was sentenced to a total of three years and nine months' imprisonment at Croydon Crown Court on Monday, 11 September.

Rogers pleaded guilty to 15 counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one count of possession of indecent images of a child at the same court on Friday, 2 June.

In June 2015, an 11-year-old child disclosed to his mother that he was being blackmailed by a teenage female he had met on Facebook. They started chatting in February 2015 and had engaged in a series of sexual conversations, where the victim received naked photographs of the female and he had sent back naked image of himself.

The female asked the victim to send more images and he refused. She then threatened to send the naked image of him to his school friend unless he did as she said.

The victim's mother reported the matter to West Midlands Police. Officers conducted an investigation and discovered the Facebook user's registered address was in Wallington, south London.

Detectives from the Met's Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command were allocated the case and on 6 July 2015 a warrant was executed at Rogers' home address. He denied any involvement and his computer equipment and mobile phone was seized.

A full forensic examination was conducted and officers discovered he had a large number of images of young naked teenage females and as well as images of young males' genitalia. He had chat logs relating to conversations with what appeared to be teenage boys with indecent images being sent and received.

The investigating officer, DC John Daly, commenced enquiries to locate as many of the victims concerned and with the assistance of police forces in the West Midlands, Sussex, Surrey and Devon and Cornwall, a total of 20 boys were identified with 17 of them supporting the investigation.

Rogers was arrested on 13 October 2015 and charged on 3 March 2017.

Throughout the process and during three lengthy interviews, Rogers refused to give any account or explanation as to what had happened.

DC Daly said: "Rogers is a predatory paedophile who deliberately targeted vulnerable young teenage boys and then coerced them into performing sexual acts online. I would like to praise the courage of the boys for coming forward and giving accounts, which ultimately forced Rogers to plead guilty to the 16 counts he has been convicted of."

Detective Inspector Keith Ward, the senior investigating officer from the Met's Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command, said: "I wish to acknowledge the courage of the children in coming forward and providing the vital evidence needed to prosecute Rogers.

"Often, children and young people who are victims of online sexual offences do not recognise that they are being abused. The use of fake profiles to gain the trust of children, to engage with them as friends and then share intimate photos is a risk to be considered by all parents, carers and children with such easy access to social media.

"The following threats of embarrassing releases of photos or chats are then used to persuade the victims to provide more images or deter the reporting of crime.

"Online abuse can be reported online to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre and advice on online grooming can be found on many websites such as the NSPCC. My advice to any child or young person is do not share pictures online that you would find embarrassing if anyone else such as your friends or parents were to see them. You have no control over the images once sent."