July 2016

Teen jailed after grooming and blackmailing two young girls

Daniel McKinlay

A teen has been locked up for grooming two young girls and threatening to post indecent pictures of them on Facebook if they failed to comply with his demands.

Daniel McKinlay, from Rutland Court, Connah’s Quay, was jailed for 18 months yesterday at Mold Crown Court after “targeting” two girls as young as 12.

He had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to three counts of engaging in sexually activity with a child and two counts of blackmail.

Judge Niclas Parry warned of the dangers of the “phenomenon” known as sexting.

“Young girls need to understand when they are persuaded to send images that their dignity, modesty and privacy may be lost forever,” he said.

McKinlay, who was just 15 when the offences started, first convinced a 12-year-old victim to send him a picture of her wearing a bra, said barrister Anna Pope, prosecuting.

The defendant, now 18, then got back in touch with the same victim three years later asking her for more images and reminding her that he still had pictures from the past.

When he asked the girl for another image she refused and blocked him on Facebook.

He then gave her an option of performing oral sex on him or he would post an image of her on the internet.

In “an act of great bravery” she posted the conversation on the social media site – “exposing McKinlay as a bully and to be blackmailing her”, the judge said.

McKinlay also turned his attention to targeting a 14-year-old girl. 

The pair shared Snapchat messages before speaking on FaceTime – a form of communication which offers live video footage of each other.

Miss Pope said: “On one occasion she was in bed and he was on the sofa. He asked her to expose her breast and she did.

“He then asked her to touch herself between her legs.

“She turned the camera to show her performing a sexual act on herself, but she became concerned after hearing clicks, as if the defendant was taking screenshots.”

The court heard how McKinlay would then pester the youngster and told her there was no point in refusing to send future pictures because “she had already done it”.

He also told her that if she did not send more images he would post pictures of her on Facebook, said Miss Pope.

McKinlay was arrested on December 4 and admitted to threatening to post pictures of the victims, but said he did not have any images of them. No images were found on his phone.

Barrister John Hedgecoe, defending, said McKinlay had demonstrated remorse on a number of occasions. “This young man has learnt his lesson,” he said.

Mr Hedgecoe said the defendant was a naive character who had not realised the seriousness of the offences until he was arrested.

Judge Parry told McKinlay: “You targeted two young girls.

“By your flattery you were activity grooming these girls, and by the second victim, you knew what you were doing.”

Jailing McKinlay, the judge warned that in the “modern age” offences such as these needed to be deterred.

As well as 18 months custody, he must register as a sex offender for 10 years.

He is also not allowed to have contact with children under the age of 16 unless their parents are aware of the offences and give consent.

He was also given restrictions on future use of the internet – preventing him from having any storage software or from deleting his search history.