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Man who dressed as schoolboy and targeted Nottinghamshire girls with sexual images jailed for seven years

A man who pretended to be a teenager has been jailed for sending sexual pictures and messages to a girl in Derbyshire, and two girls in the Nottinghamshire area.

Anthony Lonsdale, of Uxendon Crescent in Wembley, London, was arrested in March 2022 after he had been found posing as a 14-year-old schoolboy and attempting to enrol at a school in the Ilkeston area.

The 21-year-old, who was 20 at the time, had turned up dressed in a school uniform, having attempted to meet up with a teenage girl he had been messaging on social media there.

Lonsdale had set up fake profiles on a number of different social platforms, including Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp, first in the name of a teenage girl called ‘Tia’.

Posing as ‘Tia’, he chatted to the girl and encouraged her to add her so-called 12-year-old brother ‘Sam’- a second profile he had created.

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Over several weeks ‘Sam’ had messaged the girl, starting off friendly but leading to her feeling like they were boyfriend and girlfriend- and sending her sexually explicit photos.

Following further investigation officers were able to identify two other girls from the Nottinghamshire area who Lonsdale had been contacting under different false names, including ‘Tony’, ‘Tia’, ‘Emily’ and ‘Sam’.

Lonsdale would message from the different accounts, send indecent images, and request photos in return.

He met up with one of the young teenage girls at Mcdonald’s disguised as a female friend and tried to contact her younger sister

After the girl decided to block his messages, Lonsdale contacted her from one of the other fake names and said that they had attempted suicide and that they may die because of the girl’s actions.

More offences were found while Lonsdale was on bail, with phone analysis showing multiple conversations with teenage girls and nude photos.

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He also visited the Mansfield area dressed as a teenage girl to meet a 14-year-old girl in a park and convinced her and her mum to let him stay overnight as he had no money to get home.

Lonsdale pleaded guilty to eight counts of grooming and possession of sexually explicit images of children.

He was jailed for seven years, plus three years on the extended licence, following a hearing at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday 19 January.

A Sexual Harm Prevention Order and five-year restraining order were also put in place to prevent Lonsdale from contacting the victims.

Detective Sergeant Sophie Draycott of the Child Exploitation Investigation Unit said: “The lengths to which Lonsdale went to by creating several fake personas on social media, to build trust with the victims and even attempting to enrol at the same school as one of the teenagers is unbelievable.

“Behaviour such as this is intolerable, and I would like to recognise the courage of the young girls who worked with us as part of our investigation. As a result, Lonsdale is now facing the consequences of his actions.

DS Draycott added: “Keeping children and young people safe, both online and in the community, is one of our top priorities and we will continue to work tirelessly to protect them from harm.”

 

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