UK Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Grooming 146 Children Online
In November of 2018, UK police were called after two boys, aged six and eight, were approached in the street and repeatedly asked to expose themselves. The Police thought that they were dealing with an isolated incident as they traced the vehicle through CCTV. They never imagined that they would soon realize they had caught a man whose trail of online abuse covered the UK and expanded into Ireland and the United States and dealt with nearly 150 children.
Owain Thomas, 29 of Pontypridd, used nine Facebook profiles, multiple Skype usernames, and three gaming accounts, to make contact with his 146 victims online, often through popular games targeting children. Most of his victims were under the age of 13 with some as young as 9 according to reports.
South Whales Police searched his home and confiscated his laptops and electronic devices. He told Police, "That's the one I didn't want you to find". On it, Police recovered 110 hours of abuse footage.
On July 5th, Thomas was sentenced to ten years in prison with another five on extended license due to Judge Richard Twomlow's description of him as a "persistent" and "significant risk to the public." He had earlier plead guilty to an "unprecedented" 158 child sex charges at an earlier hearing. The charges included causing or inciting children to engage in sexual activity, and watching sexual activity, possessing indecent photographs and distributing indecent photographs.
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