Paedophile, 26, jailed for 11 years after targeting teens across two counties
A relentless paedophile who targeted teens across Wiltshire, Avon and Somerset has been jailed for 11 years and three months.
Callum Dower, 26, formerly of Wincanton in Somerset, was banned from using the internet to contact children in 2013, but went on to exploit young and vulnerable people.
After police unpicked a “web of deceit” he used to mask his identity online, Dower admitted 18 offences involving seven victims aged between 13 and 17 at the tme.
Dower, who had been held at HM prison in Winchester, was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court on Wednesday, September 26.
The 26-year-old had a Sexual Harm Prevention Order imposed on him in July 2013 from Taunton Crown Court, which prohibited him from accessing the internet to contact a child and having unsupervised contact with a child, as well as others.
Between December 2016 and September 2017, Dower used a female alias to contact boys under the age of 16 via social media, and encouraged them to send naked pictures of themselves.
He also would offer to meet them and buy gifts.
Dower was charged on 15 counts of breaching his Sexual Harm Prevention order and three accounts of inciting a child into sexual activity
Judge lets net sex predator keep Facebook… to preserve his social life
A teenager who used Facebook to groom young boys, some of whom he later molested, can continue to use social networking sites, a judge ruled yesterday.
Callum Dower, 19, used the site to encourage youths to send him naked pictures. If they rejected his advances, he would pose as a girl and try again.
He went on to molest one boy in a supermarket toilet, and another in his car after allowing him to drive it in a car park.
Judge Graham Hume Jones sentenced the ‘extremely manipulative’ Dower to a three-year community order for child sex and pornography offences.
However, he agreed with defence barrister Patrick Mason’s claim that a ban from using social networking websites would be ‘particularly excessive’, and deprive the defendant of the ‘social traffic’ taken for granted by his peers.
Dower had admitted six charges of making an indecent image of a child, five charges of causing or inciting a child to take part in pornography and two charges of sexual activity with a child. Taunton Crown Court also heard that he had previously been warned by police about his affection for teenage boys.
Dower was aged 17 and 18 when he carried out the offences. He used Facebook to contact boys as young as 14, and urged them to send him lewd images with their mobile phones. If they refused, he posed as ‘Georgina’, ‘Georgia’, ‘Georgie’ and ‘Jade’, and attempted to trade explicit images.
He was found out when one boy became suspicious that two pictures sent to him by ‘Georgina’ seemed to be of two different girls.
Mr Mason said the defendant, from Queen Camel, near Yeovil was an intelligent but ‘confused’ young man, who had lost his college place because of his crimes.
‘His offences in some respects are no different to those which other young people get up to over their mobile phones and on social networking sites,’ he said.
‘He is in the habit of meeting young people who share his sexual preferences and asking them for pictures. As it happens, he didn’t know that the age of consent in asking for [sexual] photographs is 18.’
Mr Mason added that the two 14-year-olds Dower molested had consented to the activity, although both were under age.
Judge Jones banned Dower from working with children and ordered him to sign the sex offenders’ register for five years. Dower will also be electronically tagged and placed under a 12-hour overnight curfew for three months.
The judge said Dower had been ‘extremely manipulative’ in order to ‘fulfil your sexual need’.
He continued: ‘You have a history of behaviour of this sort and have received warnings about it in the past. The behaviour that is described required extensive planning . . . these acts can be interpreted as a form of sexual bullying. You deceived these boys into thinking you were their friend, and then satisfied your sexual needs.
‘You are in great danger if you continue in this way of going to prison, and you will be a marked man for the rest of your life.’
Facebook said yesterday that, despite the judge’s decision, Dower’s profile had been deleted.
A spokesman said: ‘Facebook’s rules ban convicted sex offenders from using the site.’