Police have praised three girls for their bravery in coming forward after they were contacted by a man who posed as a 16-year-old boy and engaged in sexualised communication with them.
Graham Johnson, 53, used different user accounts on social media and stated on his profiles that he was 16-years-old.
He engaged in numerous conversations with the girls in 2019 which were of a sexual nature – which included asking them to ‘twerk’ and send him images of their breasts.
In December 2019 the mother of one of the girls reported to police that her daughter had been talking to a male on a social media platform whom she believed was 16-years-old.
She was aware that her daughter had never seen the person’s face and found sexual messages on her child’s phone.
After locating the owner of the account, officers attended Johnson’s home address in January 2020. His devices were seized and he was interviewed by police.
Following examination of his devices, accounts were found all purporting to belong to 16-year-old boys.
Indecent images of a child were also located along with recorded videos of children being incited by Johnson to engage in sexualised activity.
Johnson, formerly of Meadow View, Stapleford, pleaded guilty to five counts of causing/inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, three counts of engaging in sexual communications with a child and one count of making indecent images of a child.
Appearing at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday (10 February 2022) he was jailed for two years.
Johnson was also given a restraining order, made subject of a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and has been placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register.
Detective Constable Laura Twigger, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “I’d like to commend the courage shown by these girls in coming forward and helping us with the investigation which has resulted in Johnson being punished for his crimes.
“I hope this conviction will provide reassurance to other victims of sexual offences, giving them the confidence to report, and reassuring them that they will always be listened to by the force and be supported by specially-trained officers when they report offences of this nature.
“We will support you every step of the way and ensure that we investigate and leave no stone unturned to bring perpetrators to justice.
“The safeguarding of children is of paramount importance to Nottinghamshire Police.
“We are committed to preventing child sexual exploitation and will be relentless in apprehending those responsible for the sexual exploitation of children and holding them to account for their crimes.
“It is the responsibility of everyone to spot the signs that a child may be vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
“We would advise parents to be vigilant around their children’s use of social media, monitor their online access and talk to them about staying safe online so they are better protected, more aware and more resilient to the tactics used by cyber offenders.
“Our message to parents and carers is that if a child is going off to spend some time online or using apps, parents should take measures to ensure that they are safe and, if they’re of a certain age, that they understand the dangers.”
Anyone with concerns about child sexual exploitation should call Nottinghamshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, always dial 999.
For more advice visit: https://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/advice/cse
For more information about keeping your child safe online, visit: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/