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CrimeDepraved man jailed after coercing teenage boys into sexual behaviour

Depraved man jailed after coercing teenage boys into sexual behaviour

A calculated man who pretended to be a girl in order to abuse young boys online, has been jailed for four years.

Ben Thompson (22) from Bolton (pictured) engaged dozens of teenage boys in sexual conversations by pretending to be ‘Erin’ using the alias ‘Erinstewart788’.

Thompson adopted the profile of a young female and would build rapport with victims before demanding sexually explicit images and videos.

After a report of online grooming made to police by parents of an 11-year-old boy in June 2020, an investigation was launched.

Police tracked the fake Erin account to his address and found he had more than 1,000 indecent images he had extorted from children on his mobile.

Thousands of sexualised messages were sent by Thompson to underage boys, in Manchester and across the South West and North East of England.

If they didn’t comply, he would often intimidate them, saying ‘block me and you’ll regret it’ or by threatening to post their pictures online if they didn’t do what he asked.

Thompson pleaded guilty to 28 counts of inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and sexual communications with a child under 13, as well as three charges of possessing indecent images.

He has been sentenced for four years in jail at Bolton Crown Court. He will be on the sex offenders register for life and will be subjected to a ten-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Detective sergeant Matt Quayle said: “I would like to thank our victims and survivors who showed immense courage by coming forward to police and providing vital evidence to secure Thompson’s conviction.

“Thompson is a calculated and depraved individual who coerced teenage boys into sexual behaviour for his own perverse sexual gratification. When they didn’t comply, he sent them vile threats which we know had a huge impact on the young victims and their mental health.

“We know how uncomfortable it can be to make reports of this nature, but I would urge anyone who has been affected by this case or suspects their child may have been targeted by this social media account, please come forward and report this to us.

“You are not alone, you are not to blame, and we have specially trained officers and partners who will support you.”



Helen Greaney
Helen Greaney
I'm a journalist with more than 18 years' experience on local, regional and national newspapers, as well as PR and digital marketing. Crime and the courts is my specialist area but I'm also keen to hear your stories concerning Manchester and the greater North West region.
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