Online rapist jailed for 16 years

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Sep 05, 2017
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It is thought to be the second time that a defendant has been convicted of rape despite not being at the scene of the crime

Andrew Brookes

A man who used multiple fake Facebook profiles to blackmail children into sending him recordings of them committing sexual offences has been jailed for 16 years.

Paul George Leighton, 32, of Malvern Crescent, Seaham, was sentenced at Newcastle crown court yesterday after pleading guilty at earlier hearings to numerous charges.

It is understood to be the second time a defendant has been convicted of rape when not having been at the scene of the crime.

Leighton pleaded guilty to three rape charges, which the Crown Prosecution Service was able to prosecute even though the offences, which Leighton instigated online, took place in another country. 

In December 2016, Northumbria police arrested Leighton after receiving information that he had been exchanging indecent images on Facebook. During interview he admitted to officers that he had created 30 to 40 fake profiles on the social media site, through which he had incited children to send nude images of themselves.

An examination of his phone revealed the further abuse of as many as 100 children in the US and Canada.

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