A former British police officer has been sentenced to life in jail with a minimal time period of 12 years after he pleaded responsible to over 100 little one intercourse offenses
ByThe Related Press
October 25, 2023, 7:38 AM
LONDON — A former British police officer was sentenced Wednesday to life in jail with a minimal time period of 12 years after he pleaded responsible to over 100 little one intercourse offenses, together with threatening and blackmailing greater than 200 younger ladies into sending him sexual photographs of themselves on Snapchat.
Prosecutors say Lewis Edwards, 24, focused 210 ladies between the ages of 10 and 16 by posing as a teenage boy on the telephone app. He groomed them into sharing indecent pictures of themselves, then threatened a lot of his victims once they refused, blackmailing them into complying out of worry that he would expose them.
Edwards, who joined the South Wales Police in 2021, was a serving police officer when he dedicated nearly all of the offenses. He was arrested in February, and has since pleaded responsible to some 160 counts of kid intercourse offenses and blackmail.
In a single case, prosecutors mentioned Edwards threatened to bomb the home of a sufferer and shoot her mother and father if she stopped sending him pictures.
Decide Tracey Lloyd-Clarke mentioned Edwards was a prolific offender who posed a excessive danger to youngsters. She described his conduct as “merciless and sadistic.”
“The defendant pretended to be a boy of the same age. He groomed his victims psychologically, manipulating them till he had gained management,” she mentioned. “It’s clear that he not solely gained sexual gratification however he additionally loved the facility he had over the younger ladies.
“There isn’t a doubt he has triggered important hurt to the status of South Wales Police and policing typically,” she added.
Edwards was fired throughout a police misconduct listening to earlier this 12 months.
Most of the victims and their households sat within the packed public gallery for Wednesday’s sentencing listening to at Cardiff Crown Court docket, however Edwards refused to attend.
Snapchat mentioned in an announcement that it really works “in a number of methods to detect and stop this kind of abuse, together with utilizing cutting-edge detection know-how.”
“We’ve got additional protections for under-18s and lately added a brand new pop-up warning for teenagers if they’re contacted by somebody who they don’t know,” the California-based firm mentioned.