Police warn teenagers about social media after sexual predator jailed for grooming on Instagram & Yellow
A sex predator wept as his mugshot was being taken when his vile crimes were first exposed.
Detectives have warned teenagers of the dangers of social media after a sexual predator was jailed for grooming vulnerable girls online.
Jordan Towers, 24, set up fake online profiles on Instagram and the teen dating app Yellow to trap dozens of victims.
Towers paid the victims compliments, and would persuade them to send indecent photos or take part in sexual video chats.
But once they refused to send any more, he would become aggressive and threaten to send the indecent images to their friends and family unless they sent more.
Towers used some of the images to set up profiles and pose as a teenage girl, sending the photos to other victims to encourage them to send similar ones back.
He contacted some of his victims by using more than one of his online profiles.
Towers was arrested in February after a 13-year-old girl from Kent reported him.
When police searched his mobile phone, they found more than 1,000 indecent images.
Officers identified around 60 potential victims aged between 13 and 16, and ended up interviewing 29 girls.
Police found he had targeted girls across the country, including South Wales, Bristol, Doncaster, Greater Manchester, Essex, Kent and Sussex.
Towers, of Woking, Surrey, admitted 21 counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, and taking and distributing indecent photographs of a child.
He was jailed for six years at Guildford Crown Court last Friday, and handed a four-year extended licence.
Towers was given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.
He was pictured crying in a custody mugshot released after he was jailed.
Detective Inspector Martin Goodwin from Surrey Police’s Paedophile Online
Investigation Team, who led the investigation, said: “The prison sentence handed to Towers shows that the internet is not a safe or anonymous place for abusing teenage girls.
“It highlights the work being undertaken by Surrey Police to target predatory offenders intent on using the internet to facilitate their criminal behaviour.
“Towers manipulated vulnerable teenage girls, persuading them to send indecent photos of themselves by befriending them, gaining their trust and then threatening to blackmail them when they refused.
“He has also used fake profiles to con his victims into believing they were talking to girls their own age. The lengths that Towers went to, to deceive and target his victims is deplorable.
“His offending has had a profoundly devastating impact on not only his victims’ lives, but also those of their families. ”
He added: “Many of the girls we interviewed had thousands of followers on their social media accounts but did not know who many of them were, and were sending indecent photos of themselves.
“Whilst social media can be a great way of staying in contact with people, it is also used by sexual predators.
“Teenagers should be mindful of who they are chatting to and think before sending any images of themselves – ‘would my parents approve if they saw this picture of me?’ If the answer is no, then you probably shouldn’t be sending it to anyone.”