A man who committed a series of sexual offences against young girls he groomed online has been jailed.
Taiwo Benson, 46 (19.04.72), who is currently serving a nine-year prison sentence at HMP Littlehey, was sentenced to a further two years’ imprisonment at Kingston Crown Court on Friday, 15 March, after pleading guilty on 23 November 2018 to the following offences:
- one count of causing a child aged 13 to 15 to watch/look at an image of sexual activity,
- two counts of an adult meeting a girl under 16 following sexual grooming,
- two counts of causing a child 13 to 15 to watch a sexual act,
- four counts of engaging in penetrative sexual activity with a girl aged 13 to 15,
- one count of offender over 18 cause a child aged 13 to 15 to watch a sexual act,
- one count of offender 18 or over engaging in penetrative sexual activity with a girl aged 13 to 15.
The offences were committed between 1 January and 31 December 2015 against nine victims.
benson's two-year prison sentence will be served, consecutively, to his existing jail term.
The court heard how Benson had previously been convicted and imprisoned for nine years for similar offences against four victims aged between 13 and 15. Following sentencing for these offences on 5 April 2016, detectives from the Met’s Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command (CASO) retrieved two mobile phones belonging to him. They contained 1,435 conversations with other potential victims across various social media sites.
The team spent over two years processing the data. They travelled across the UK and attempted to contact in excess of 500 girls whom they believed Benson had spoken to. Benson used the names of The Real MVP, Tony and Timi on a range of applications, including WhatsApp, Facebook, Viber and BBM (blackberry messaging).
Benson groomed numerous young girls and evidence indicated he had engaged in sexual intercourse with some of the victims.
After making contact with his victims, he attempted to initiate a meeting for sex and requested images of them. He offered a range of goods, but primarily money to encourage them to meet with him. When a victim disclosed her age Benson was not deterred from contacting her further.
Detective Inspector Laura Hillier, who led the investigation, said: “Benson is a very dangerous and manipulative man. He has spent years targeting young girls on the internet for his own gratification.
“Many potential victims were spoken to by officers. I would like to commend the victims who came forward and bravely told officers how Benson groomed and committed offences against them.
"It is my hope that today's sentence brings a measure of comfort and satisfaction to the vulnerable young girls that he preyed upon.
"The internet is increasingly being used by offenders like Benson to target young victims, and this is something the Met is gearing its safeguarding efforts towards.
“Engaging with someone online is not the same as having just met them in person, but young people will often be more open to people who seem friendly or project a certain image of themselves online without thinking about what that person’s intentions might be, or even whether they are who they say they are.
"We would encourage parents to talk to their children about the risks of speaking to people online, and how to stay safe on the internet.”
Anyone with information can call the Child Sexual Exploitation team via 101. To remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
For more information on how the stay safe online, visit https://safe.met.police.uk/internet_safety/get_the_facts.html