Essex

Connor Allen-Howe sentenced for online child sex abuse

28/03/2017

A youth who posed as a teenage girl to dupe young boys across the internet to carry out sex acts was sentenced today to eight years' imprisonment at Chelmsford Crown Court in a case described by CPS East of England as "a shocking warning of the dangers that exist online".

Michelle Brown for the CPS said: "Connor Allen-Howe was 16 years old when his offending began in November 2012 and ended in June 2015. He posed as a teenage girl, aged 16 or 17 years old, and made random contact with young males on line and then encouraged them to chat with him via Skype chat and Messenger.

"This case is a shocking warning of the dangers that exist online: not only of how easy it is for a stranger to make contact with young boys, but also to persuade them to carry out sexual acts on camera.

"Mr Allen-Howe is responsible for luring these young victims into a sexualised world where perverted behaviour was encouraged and recorded for his gratification. Online abuse such as this is extremely serious and, as the sentence imposed demonstrates, it carries a significant sentence.

"We would urge anyone who suffers abuse online to report it. We continue to work closely with the police and other agencies to support victims and bring abusers to justice."

Ends

Notes

  • Connor Allen-Howe is now 21 years old (dob 9/12/1995); he pleaded guilty to 31 charges.
  • Michelle Brown is a District Crown Prosecutor in CPS East of England's Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit (RASSO)

Background

Essex Police were initially alerted to the activity following a referral from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection team following an investigation by the Colorado Police Department in the USA. A 13-year-old boy in the USA had been encouraged to engage in sexual activity over Skype and had been encouraged to video the activity. In return the boy was sent images of a naked female, the person that Mr Allen-Howe had pretended to be.

Mr Allen-Howe had created five separate Skype accounts; in three of them he pretended to be a 17 year old female. He had collated and stored images of a girl in different stages of undress and performing various sexual acts in readiness for sharing in return for indecent images and video footage.

Contact was made with teenage boys typically aged between 12 and 16 years. The victims were asked to perform sex acts in return for photos. The victims believed they were talking to an attractive 17 year old female.

Mr Allen-Howe was charged with offences that reflected his offending behaviour whilst he was both under and over the age of 18.

The charges before the court reflected 15 victims under the age of 16 years; two of whom were 12 years old. Seven further victims were 16 or 17 years old at the time. Five victims - one of whom lives in the USA, the remaining four reside in the UK - were identified and were prepared to attend court and supported the prosecution. Other victims were traced to Australia, Belgium, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, USA, and Wales.