Your parents always tell you to be careful of who you talk to on the internet. This is why a Pedophile befriended teenage girls online by posing as pop star Justin Bieber and boy band One Direction’s Niall Horan.
Simon Hale then persuaded dozens of the girls from the UK, Australia and Denmark into posing naked or topless for him on their computer webcams. Taking control of their computers using a sophisticated software, he then recorded and blackmailed some of them into committing on-camera sex acts for perverted pleasure.
Don’t worry directioners and beliebers! Hale was yesterday locked up for at least 10 years and warned by a judge that he was so dangerous that he might never be released.
Prosecutor David Gittins told Plymouth Crown Court that Hale, aged 37, had eventually admitted 10 counts of causing or inciting children to commit indecent acts and 12 counts relating to making, distributing or possessing images of those children.
Mr Gittins said that last year, girls heard they could talk to 18-year-old Canadian heart-throb ‘Justin Bieber’ and 19-year old Niall Horan via an internet site similar to a chat-room.
But the man they talked to, who then encouraged them to use Skype, was Hale. When police tracked him down, they found 35 Skype accounts and more than 180 home-made videos, nearly all of young girls and 88 showing them performing various sexual acts. Officers identified 10 out of 33 girls with whom Hale had struck up online relationships.
Mr Gittins said in one case, Hale talked to a girl of 13, who had a cousin aged six. He asked the girl, a huge fan of both singers, to lift up her top and take off her pants, which she refused to do. He then sent her a photo of the real Justin Bieber and told her he had a brain tumour to gain her sympathy.
When the girl again refused to strip, he told her he had already secretly filmed her getting changed and would show her friends unless she did as he asked. Eventually the girl was pressured to strip naked and commit simulated sex acts with her young cousin.
Mr Gittins detailed other similar cases, one girl being made to commit sex acts with her four-year-old brother and others forced into touching themselves intimately. All were aged 13-15.
Judge Paul Darlow told Hale: “By pretending to be someone you knew girls that age would idolise, you inveigled your way into their confidence and in several cases spawned an infatuation with you. There is a significant risk that you will commit more offences, causing serious harm to the public. There is a possibility you will be held in custody indefinitely.”
Outside the court, Det Insp Simon Snell said: “The abuse of Hale’s victims was horrific. He’s a very dangerous and sadistic man; with him it’s about control and sexual gratification. He didn’t co-operate with us in any way.”
He added that Justin Bieber and Niall Horan had both been told of the case, and were “horrified and appalled”.