June 2016

Sexual predator jailed over indecent images

pryce

A 19-year old man from Hereford has been sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to a string of sexual offences involving more than 90 victims.

Thomas Pryce of Cornewall Street in Hereford will be on the sex offenders register for the rest of his life after admitting to grooming children for sexual purposes as well as making and distributing indecent images of children.

A jury at Birmingham Crown Court heard how the 29-year-old posed as a teenage girl online & set up bogus identities to groom his victims into sending indecent pictures of themselves.

Some victims did forward images, believing they were flirting with a girl.

The sickening deception was only uncovered after one boy’s alarmed mum alerted police after discovering her son had been targeted online.

West Mercia Police investigated and the fake ‘girl’s’ online account was traced to a Herefordshire pub, the family home of Pryce.

But because the pub had free wifi, detectives could not be sure who the culprit was.

The breakthrough came six months later when police discovered the same account used by Pryce had been activated after closing time.

Pryce was eventually arrested at his family home in Hereford.

Following a search of his computer equipment, indecent images and videos were recovered and it emerged that he had contacted more than 90 children online.

Detectives investigating his activities praised the bravery of his young victims in sealing his conviction.

Pryce was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life and given an eight-year sexual harm prevention order.

April 2016

A-Level student pretended to be a GIRL to abuse boys online

AN A-Level student pretended to be a girl to lure and abuse young boys online after targeting more than 80 victims.

Thomas Pryce, 19, set up bogus identities to contact youngsters who he befriended before asking for explicit pictures.

Some victims did forward images, believing they were flirting with a girl.

The sickening deception was only uncovered after one boy’s alarmed mum alerted police after discovering her son had been targeted online.

Pryce was eventually arrested at his family home in Hereford.

He admitted 29 offences at Birmingham Crown Court on February 16 and will be sentenced at the same court on May 13.

By pretending to be a young girl he would target teenage boys online and would later ask for indecent images. Some were also persuaded to carry out sexual acts online.

It is understood a number of recorded clips of victims were found during the police investigation.

The probe began after one concerned mum contacted police in September 2013 after discovering her adolescent son had been snared by an unidentified online sex predator.

The mum told how her son had been in contact with a Facebook user with the surname Smith since July of that year.

Pryce, posing as a girl, had asked the boy to send him indecent pictures of himself and in return had sent indecent images of a female.

But when the young victim ended their exchanges, Pryce threatened to publish intimate pictures of the boy.

West Mercia Police investigated and the fake ‘girl’s’ online account was traced to a Herefordshire pub, the family home of Pryce.

But because the pub had free wifi, detectives could not be sure who the culprit was.

The breakthrough came six months later when police discovered the same account used by Pryce had been activated after closing time.

Police arrested Pryce and seized computers and phones for forensic analysis. They discovered he had used multiple bogus online profiles and had targeted more than 80 young people.

At the time of his arrest he was studying A-levels at Hereford Sixth Form College, from which he was suspended last May.

The teenage sex offender pleaded guilty to 29 specimen offences at Birmingham Crown Court on February 16, but it is understood a lengthy police investigation identified more than 80 young people who he had targeted.

The West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service confirmed a number of offences involving other victims will be taken into consideration at sentencing at the same court on May 13.

A spokesman said: “We can confirm that the current charges are specimens. We are currently working with the police to confirm the precise number of victims.”

West Mercia Police declined to comment ahead of sentencing.

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