A MAN from Maybury who groomed teenage girls on social media for his sexual gratification using fake profiles has been jailed for six years.
Jordan Towers, 26, targeted around 60 potential victims aged between 13 and 16 Guildford Crown Court was told.
Officers identified the girls through reviewing Towers’ mobile, mainly through either their phone number with associated chat logs and from images recovered which had user profiles.
Towers, of Portugal Road, had been arrested in February after a 13-year-old girl from Kent called the police. She said he had befriended her online using a fake profile and persuaded her to take indecent photographs of herself.
Officers found more than 1,000 indecent images on his mobile and he was subsequently remanded in custody.
In an investigation led by Surrey Police, it soon became apparent that Towers was befriending vulnerable teenage girls via Instagram or a teenage dating app called Yellow. He paid the victims compliments to gain their trust before asking them to send photos or take part in video chats of a sexual nature.
If a victim refused to continue co-operating, Towers threatened to distribute the images they had already sent to their friends and family unless they sent him more photos.
Towers also used some of the images he was sent to set up profiles and pose as a teenage girl, sending these images to other victims to encourage them to send similar images back to him.
Police interviewed 29 girls across the country, including South Wales, Bristol, Doncaster, Greater Manchester, Essex, Kent and Sussex.
Towers was sentenced at the court on Friday last week, after pleading guilty in July to 21 out of a total of 26 charges. He admitted causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity; engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child; and taking and distributing indecent photographs of a child.
He was jailed for six years, and put on a four year extended licence on his release. He was also given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.
The investigation was led by Det Insp Martin Goodwin from the Surrey Police paedophile online investigation team. He commented after the sentencing: “The prison sentence handed to Towers shows that the internet is not a safe or anonymous place for abusing teenage girls.
“It highlights the work being undertaken by Surrey Police to target predatory offenders intent on using the internet to facilitate their criminal behaviour.
“Towers’ offending has had a profoundly devastating impact on not only his victims’ lives, but also those of their families. Many of the girls we interviewed had thousands of followers on their social media accounts, but did not know who many of them were, and were sending indecent photos of themselves.
Help or advice about online grooming can be found by searching for “staying safe online” at https://surrey.police.uk.