A 30-year-old man who posed as a young Justin Bieber look-a-like online to illicit indecent images from schoolgirls has been jailed.
Yohann Ramchelawon hid his true identity behind a photo of a teenage boy from the internet. He created a profile online and urged girls to send him images from their webcams.
Ramchelawon, born in Mauritius, used Instagram, WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook, and his targets ranged from 12 to 17 years old.
Ramchelawon would even tell his victims he would share their images with friends and family unless they performed sex acts on their cameras for him.
West Midlands Police began pursuing Ramchelawon after an IP address used to message a 12-year-old Manchester girl was traced to a house in Walsall.
Detectives eventually traced him to an address in Victoria Lane, Huddersfield, where he was arrested on 6 March.
Hundreds of indecent images were found on his digital devices as officers uncovered victims from Coventry and Walsall in the West Midlands, plus Lanark in Scotland, Liverpool, St Ives, Shoreham-by-sea and East Ham.
When officers examined the contents of his computer and phone, they found he’d contacted girls living in New Zealand, Brazil, UAE and Russia.
Ramchelawon − who gave his home address as Walls Street, Halifax, when arrested − was convicted of two counts of inciting a 12-year-old girl to engage in sex acts online, eight charges of possessing indecent images of children, and two of distributing the images.
He was also convicted of penetration and sexual assault against a six-year-old Coventry girl in October last year.
He was jailed for 15 years today (Monday September 18) at Stafford Crown Court.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Kerry Haywood from West Midlands Police’s Public Protection Unit, said: “He used various aliases including Ryan Smith and ‘Santiago’ and claimed to be a teenager who was sending messages during school or college lessons.
“He sent poems, would call them ‘baby’ and tell them he loved them after chatting online for little more than a day.
“However, he quickly steered the chats to intimate subjects and persuaded them to take their clothes off − and he then used these naked images to blackmail them into sending more explicit pictures and videos.
“The enquiry started when a girl from Manchester reported to police that a boy named Ryan was asking for intimate images. The investigation soon snowballed and we identified many more victims and online conversations with girls in different countries.
“I’d like to thank that 12-year-old girl for breaking her silence and putting her faith in the police. It’s helped us put a calculating sex predator behind bars and undoubtedly protected other girls for falling into his trap."