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Essex brothers convicted of grooming seven teenage girls with ‘sugar daddy’ experiences

|News, Sexual offences

Two brothers in their sixties who targeted vulnerable teenage girls offering ‘sugar daddy’ experiences have been convicted of a string of grooming and sexual offences.

John Bancroft, 68, used chat sites to target his seven victims, convincing them to carry out sexual acts for money and gifts, with the offending taking place between 2016 and 2017.

His younger half-brother Graham Manicom, 62, was also involved in the abuse of the young victims.

Today (Monday, 13 December 2021) following a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court, Bancroft was convicted of four counts of rape and meeting a child following sexual grooming.

At the start of the trial he pleaded guilty to five counts of paying for the sexual services of a child, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, attempted sexual communication with a child, nine counts of attempted causing or inciting the sexual exploitation of a child, as well as seven counts of taking indecent images and six counts of distributing indecent images of children.

Part-way through the trial his brother Manicom pleaded guilty to two counts of paying for the sexual services of a child.

Former Netflix The Crown extra and union employee Bancroft would meet the teenage girls at hotels, offering them alcohol, before entering into arrangements where he would pay them £100 to £200 per week to engage in sexual acts. Evidence found Bancroft would send indecent images to the young girls, encouraging them to send images of themselves in return.

In one incident, his victim described being hit with a cane and having a bag put over her head whilst hot wax was poured over her skin for £50.

Bancroft would lie about his age before grooming his victims, showering them with flattery, money, and gifts.

In May 2017, Bancroft’s illicit activities were uncovered when worrying messages on one of the victim’s phone were uncovered and the police were contacted. He was later arrested, and analysis of his devices revealed a much larger grooming campaign. 

Olivia Ball, from the CPS, said: “John Bancroft was a manipulative, predatory and sickening man who groomed and exploited these young girls for his own sexual pleasure.

“Graham Manicom was no stranger to his brother’s activities and was also a willing participant.

“The prosecution case against the defendants included strong witness testimony from the victims, phone evidence and DNA evidence found at Bancroft’s home address. 

“The victims in this case have shown incredible fortitude throughout this investigation and prosecution. The CPS is committed to bringing sexual offenders to justice.”

Bancroft and Manicom will be sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 14 February 2022.

Notes to editors

  • John Bancroft (DOB: 27/04/1953) is from Essex.
  • Graham Manicom (DOB: 16/08/1959) is from Essex. 
  • Olivia Ball is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences unit in CPS London North. 

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