December 2017

Pervert met the girls on teen social network Habbo Hotel

A pervert who “directed” young girls to perform sex acts on themselves for his gratification met his victims via children’s social network Habbo Hotel.

Daniel Roberts, of Brunstead Road in Poole, was 17 when he first began meeting youngsters through the online community. After initial contact was made, the defendant, who is now 25, encouraged the girls to speak with him on different forms of social media, including Skype.

He then behaved abusively towards his victims, one of whom was just 11, and recorded the footage.

Roberts returned to the network at the age of 23 and targeted a 14-year-old girl.

Logs recovered by the police revealed he had “commanded” the girls to carry out the acts on themselves. One was visibly “petrified and nervous throughout”, the investigating officer said.

Another of the girls urged Roberts – who she knew as ‘Daniel Johnson’ – to delete the footage of her abuse or she would stop speaking to him.

He replied: “Don’t threaten me, lol.” He then threatened to put the video online if she failed to carry out further acts, telling her: “Are you going to do what you’re told and let me see you, or should I just put [the video] online?”

The victim told him: “I hate you for this” as she turned her webcam on. Roberts said: “It wasn’t hard to turn the camera on, was it?

“If you don’t, I’ll put [the footage] online.”

Sadie Rizzo, prosecuting at Bournemouth Crown Court, said conversations between Roberts and his victims “very rapidly” became sexual once they began speaking via Skype.

“He bought software that recorded what was seen on his computer,” Ms Rizzo said.

“The web chats go on for years in some cases.

“Grooming behaviour is an element in these offences.”

Police raided the defendant’s address on May 5 last year and seized his computers. An examination of the devices took “quite some time” because of the volume of material – including chat logs, MSN messages and Skype exchanges – in the memories of each, Ms Rizzo said.

Just two victims have been identified by officers. However, there are believed to be at least six victims who were directly targeted and recorded by Roberts, it was heard.

Roberts also had further indecent images of children downloaded from the internet, and six images of extreme pornography involving the abuse of animals.

He admitted seven counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, 13 of making indecent images of a child and one of possessing extreme pornography.

Sentencing Roberts to four years in prison and an indefinite sexual harm prevention order, Judge Peter Crabtree OBE said the victims would have felt “exploited and humiliated” by their abuse.

“They will undoubtedly, as they grow older and come to understand the gravity of what has occurred, find it quite hard to put this out of their minds,” he said.