Pattaya Daily News

25 September 2010 :: 15:09:39 pm 40597

Postman Jailed for Internet Grooming and Sexual Abuse

A postman from Cornwall has been sentenced to eight and a half years in jail after admitting to charges of inciting sexual activity, grooming and distributing indecent images.
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UK, 25th September 2010: Michael Williams a 29 year old postman from Cornwall who had been using social networking websites Facebook and Bebo, admitted to 27charges of abuse of hundreds of children, grooming them before asking them to perform sex acts over a webcam, while arranging to meet with others before abusing them between 2004-2009.

In addition to the 27 charges, Williams asked for a further four to be taken into consideration which involved another 460 unknown victims. Devon and Cornwall police have identified around 500 victims, but believe there are many more who are too afraid to come forward, which could bring the total of abused nearer to 1,000.

Williams created at least eight fake online profiles, dying his hair various colours to disguise his identity, before targeting youngsters whom he met on his post rounds, on school runs as a taxi driver and in his role as Falmouth Town Football Club Secretary.

Judge Paul Darlow said, “The deceit and corruption shown by Williams had damaged hundreds of children by lulling them into a false sense of security. Every method employed by you was designed to exploit young children by the means you knew was popular with them…. Facebook, Bebo and MSM Messenger.”

Williams, who has since been dismissed by his employers Royal Mail, convinced his victims to meet him in parks, on beaches and at his home.

Child safety experts say that social networks have made vast improvements in the line of safety, but this case just proves how easy it remains for paedophiles to get round the systems. The key issue is age verification.

All networks are under pressure to install the Child Protection and Online Exploitation Center’s panic button (CEOP). After insisting its own safeguards were superior, Facebook eventually agreed to promote the CEOP button, although it remains optional. The company has launched a £5million campaign to improve safety for users. Facebook have said they are deeply concerned by the case.

It is not clear how this or any other mechanism will stop paedophiles from finding their way to use the internet to abuse children.

A spokesperson said, “The case serves as a painful reminder that everyone must use extreme caution when talking to or meeting people they only know via the internet,”

No user, child or adult should accept a friend request on a social network unless they actually know and trust the person.

Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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