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Online predator jailed for sexually abusing girls as young as 12

|News, Sexual offences

An online predator who forced young girls to sign a sexual contract with him has been jailed.

Jordan Croft, 26, in West Sussex contacted people using social media under the guise of being a young teenage boy.

He would exchange messages with the victims, gaining their trust and then set rules and guidelines which included downloading Telegram and providing a nude image.

Croft would then use this image and details from the victim’s social media accounts to blackmail them into sending increasingly graphic and sexual images.

There was an overwhelming amount of evidence against Croft in this case which resulted in him pleading guilty to 65 offences including inciting child sexual exploitation. He has today at Lewes Crown Court been sentenced to 18 years in prison with an eight-year extended licence.

Jeanette Smith of the CPS said: “The young girls targeted by Croft had no rest from his perverse barrage of messages and felt they had no choice but to comply with his increasingly depraved requests.

“From the extensive evidence seized from his devices, it is clear Croft revelled in the control he had over these young victims and showed no concern for the impact his actions were having.

“He made attempts to hide his actions using encryption and platforms he thought were safe from detection, but we were still able to bring him to justice and I hope today’s result sends a clear message to other offenders.

“Our Organised Child Sexual Abuse Unit was set up earlier this year to prosecute child sexual abuse like this, and help stop its devastating impact on victims.”

Building the case

Croft had attempted to evade detection using encrypted networks, however thorough forensic investigation recovered material from his devices proved his guilt.

One of his phones had 906 indecent images of children that were categorised as ‘selfies’, ‘close-ups’, ‘full body’ and had names and ages attached.

The device also contained screenshots of Croft’s list of instructions he sent to the victims which included how they must tell him when they’re busy, show him their Instagram profile and complete any punishments he gave them.

Evidence was also secured from one of the social media networks he had used which confirmed Croft had been responsible for perverse messages to the victims.

Martin Ludlow, senior investigating officer at the National Crime Agency, said: “Jordan Croft is a prolific offender who has caused heart-breaking suffering to many victims and their families.

“The sexual depravity he consistently displayed during this abuse of both young female children and adults is horrific.

“Like many offenders Croft thrived on the power he was able to exert over the victims. He sought the feeling of control and obtained it by deceit and abuse.

“He showed no compassion for the victims, pushing them to breaking point and issuing threats, even when they begged him to stop.

“I commend these young women who have shown such bravery in speaking out against him.

“Croft is an example of an adult sexual offender who deploys plausible online profiles to hide their real identity and exploit children.

“We know children are increasingly sharing personal material on social media sites, but I urge them be aware of the hurt and long term damage manipulative offenders like Croft cause, and to think carefully about who they may be communicating with online.

“The NCA will continue to pursue the most serious offenders, including those who believe they can hide behind the anonymity of the internet to abuse children. Like Croft they will be brought to justice.”

Notes to editors

On 9 August 2022 Jordan Croft (24/05/1996) pleaded guilty to the below offences in relation to 26 victims. Today he has been sentenced to 18 years in prison with an eight year extended licence.

3 counts of Causing or inciting child sexual exploitation contrary to section 48(1) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003

23 counts of Blackmail contrary to section 21(1) of the Theft Act 1968

28 counts of Causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, contrary to section 10(1) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003

3 counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, contrary to section 8(1) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003

1 count of causing or inciting child prostitution or pornography, contrary to section 48(1) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003

6 counts of making indecent photographs of children contrary to section 1(1)(a) of the Protection of Children Act 1978

1 count of possession of Prohibited images of children contrary to section 62 Coroners and Justice Act 2009

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