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Teenager who posed as a girl admits threatening boys over indecent images

By Lisa O'Brien | South Shropshire | Crime | Published:

A teenage man from Shropshire posed as a girl online and through phone apps to befriend 14 and 15-year-old boys before getting them to send him indecent photographs of themselves, a court heard.

Harry Sloan then threatened the boys, saying he would post the pictures on the internet and send them to their friends unless they met his demands, Shrewsbury Crown Court was told yesterday.

Ms Sati Ruck, prosecuting, said Sloan demanded they send him further indecent photos and videos of themselves.

The 19-year-old also blackmailed one of his three victims, telling him he would have to pay £1,000 or he would make the indecent images of the boy public.

Sloan is due to be sentenced at Shrewsbury Crown Court today after admitting a string of sexual offences and other charges.

During yesterday's hearing, Ms Ruck said Sloan met his victims via Instagram and Snapchat and pretended to be female.

She said he would lure his victims into sending him indecent photos of themselves by firstly sending them nude pictures of girls.

The court heard that Sloan had threatened a 14-year-old boy saying he would post an indecent photo of him online and send it to his friends unless he kept sending similar photos.

Ms Ruck said the victim then received a phone call from Sloan who made further demands that he would have to pay £1,000 to keep the photos from going public.

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Sloan also tried to arrange a meet up with the boy for sexual purposes but the 14-year-old told his mother and the matter was reported to police.

Following the most recent offence, police seized Sloan's laptop and found more than 100 indecent images of children on the device.

Ms Ruck said his chat records were also recovered showing he had made requests for indecent photos to a number of people.

Sloan, of Tenbury Road, Clee Hill, admitted two counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

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He also admitted five counts of sending malicious communications, one charge of blackmail, two counts of making indecent images of children, two charges of distributing indecent images of children and four charges of being in possession of indecent images of children.

The pleas were entered at earlier court appearances.

The charges date back to between May 2014 and October last year.

Mr Stephen Scully, representing Sloan, said he was at "high risk of further sexual offending".

He said Sloan's mother was making sure he no longer had access to the internet.

Judge Jonathan Gosling is expected to sentence Sloan at Shrewsbury Crown Court today.

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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