A man who used online chat rooms including Skype to groom and incite teenage boys into sexual activity has been jailed.
Police say the abuse carried out by Liam Garth was “a wake-up call for parents and guardians of young people who may fall victim” to sexual predators.
The 23-year-old from Baildon, Shipley, was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court after admitting five offences against two victims.
These includes two counts of grooming boys aged 14 and 15 in an attempt meet up with them and inciting them to non-penetrative sexual activity.
Garth will serve four-and-a-half years in prison and then four-and-a half years on licence when he is released. He was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which will be reviewed at a later date, and placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely.
The North Yorkshire Police investigation into Garth’s offending lasted more than a year and included victims and potential victims from North and West Yorkshire.
Detective Constable Andy Rawlings of the Harrogate Serious Crime Team said: “Liam Garth is an extremely manipulative individual who poses a serious risk to impressionable young people.
“It is clear from our investigation that he is a sexual predator and uses various online web chats, Skype in particular, to groom, entice and threaten his victims into committing sex acts for his own gratifications.
“This case is a wake-up call for parents and guardians of young people who may fall victim to criminals like Liam Garth. The very real dangers that lurk online are here to see and it is very worrying.”
Anyone with concerns about their child being sexually exploited online should call North Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.