A pervert who groomed a string of vulnerable girls – including one aged just 11 – on Facebook because he had a “miserable social life” has been jailed for nearly four years.
Blaine Dalton, 22, stalked the social website hunting for youngsters to ‘friend’ before persuading them to send him naked pictures of themselves.
He even met up with one 13-year-old before “seriously” sexually assaulting her and persuaded two more children, aged between 11 and 14, to send him sexual pictures.
Shockingly, a court heard he incited another girl to engage in sexual activity in 2012.
Dalton, of Nottingham, was jailed after he admitted six charges of causing or inciting a girl to engage in sexual activity, having sexual activity with her and causing or inciting her to be involved in pornography by sending him nude photographs of herself.
Jailing him to three years and nine months Judge Michael Port QC said: “Others have to learn that if you do these sorts of things you have done, the courts will protect young girls, and this court will provide that protection and will punish men who exploit them.
“You exploited the phenomenon of the internet.”
Dalton was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.
Speaking after the case, one of his victims said: “He lied and wormed his way into my life, probably in the same way he did with lots of other girls.
“Looking back, I was a shy, awkward 13-year-old, and he seemed to know all the right things to make me feel special.
“Blaine abused my trust, then abused me physically. I relive what he did to me every day.
“He had a normal life for two years as an ‘innocent’ man throughout the police investigation and court proceedings.
“But in the weeks and months after the attack, I fell apart emotionally.
“I was bullied at school, with people shouting abuse and calling me a liar.
“Most of my friends turned their backs on me, not believing that I was telling the truth. Losing them was especially hard and I wasn’t sure whether I could go on with my life.
“I’ve had a massively difficult time but, with the help of my family and counselling, I feel stronger now.
“Her life was on hold for two years but she has stayed strong and is starting to come out the other side and move on,” said her mum.
“Part of that is down to the support we’ve had from police and specialist counsellors during the investigation who have helped her and Dalton’s other victims.”
Her mother added: “Our family life has been turned upside down by this man.
“We thought we had taken enough steps to protect her, and had warned her about the dangers of predators on the internet but we were naive to how devious these people are.”
Dalton’s mum, Joanne, who was in court, said of her son: “His whole social life has been completely miserable. He was bullied and ridiculed. He struggles to make friends.”
Detective Constable Chris Taylor, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Many girls he was grooming deleted him as a contact when he started making suggestive comments but didn’t report what he had done.
“This gave Dalton the opportunity to move on to target others.
“It also lost potential evidence against him, as deleting a contact on Facebook removes all traces of past messages from them.
“If young people are concerned about inappropriate messages, being asked to do something that makes them uncomfortable, screen-grab the conversation and report that person to a trusted adult.”