Pervert pretended to be TV stars to get girls to strip naked on webcams
A man assumed the identities of two TV personalities to persuade young girls to strip naked for him during live web cam exchanges, a court heard yesterday.
At a plea hearing a barrister for the Public Prosecution Service told Judge Philip Babington that the defendant, Austin Quigg, 28, from Curragh Road in Dungiven, coerced one of the girls to carry out a sex act during one of the web cam exchanges.
The barrister said that “girls as young as six were involved ranging up to young girls in their early and mid teens”.
Quigg pleaded guilty to 14 charges of making indecent images of female children, guilty to three charges of inciting female children to engage in sexual activity and guilty to three charges of attempting to incite female children to engage in sexual activity.
He committed the 20 offences between October 2009 and March 2012. He is to be sentenced for the offences at the Crown Court in Derry next Friday.
The barrister said the offences were detected after one of the girls reported to Staffordshire Police in November 2011 that a man who said he had indecent images of her said he was going to send them to her boyfriend, which Quigg did.
The police investigation switched to Northern Ireland and in March 2012 Quigg’s home was searched by the police. The officers seized his personal computer and his mother gave the police another computer which her son had access to.
The computers contained 90 indecent videos of children and 609 indecent photographs of children. Almost all of the videos and photographs were categorised as being at the lower level in terms of seriousness.
The prosecutor said: “The defendant used the computers to use a website to search for females aged between 13 and 60 from many countries.
“He chatted on line to a number of young girls whilst assuming the identities of two well known television personalities. He said he did this to appeal to the young girls. He sent videos to the receivers in which he appeared to be one of these personalities and he did this thousands of times.
“He then encouraged the girls to expose themselves and coerced them into sexualised behaviour and he recorded the incidents.”
When he was arrested in October 2013 Quigg made immediate admissions but the e-crime investigation into his offending continued for another three years.
Defence barrister Eoghan Devlin said the offending was reprehensible, inexcusable and appalling and he said Quigg would rightly suffer a degree of odium which society and the courts attached to such offending.
Mr Devlin said Quigg had not re-offended since his crimes were uncovered and an experienced probation officer stated that Quigg’s regret and remorse were both genuine and sincere. He said Quigg, who has been assessed as presenting a low risk of re-offending had, since his arrest, lost his job, his life in England and had also self harmed.
Judge Babington said he would sentence Quigg next Friday and he released him on continuing bail until then.