A twisted pervert has been jailed for three years after he posed as pop star Justin Bieber to groom young girls over the internet.
Richard Barlow, 24, enticed “naive” youngsters by posing as the 19-year-old American megastar in online chat-rooms and music sites.
A court heard he also pretended to be a teenage boy and even a young girl to meet children where he encouraged them to strip and perform sex acts over Skype.
He groomed children aged between seven and 11 for his own sexual gratification over website “Lucy Loves Music” and even used headphones and cameras to record them.
Shockingly, Barlow blackmailed some victims by threatening to upload films he had already made of them for family and friends to see if they did not do as he said.
When police raided his home and seized his computer they found a shocking video of him enticing a seven-year-old girl to perform a sex act on herself via a webcam.
He was arrested and charged with inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, three charges of engaging in sexual activity with a child over the Internet and 12 charges of making indecent images.
On Wednesday at Mold Crown Court he pleaded guilty to all charges and was caged for three years.
Barlow, of Big Arowry, north Wales, was also ordered to sign on the Sex Offenders Register for life.
Sentencing Judge Peter Heywood said: “It is clear that for a significant period of time you have had an unhealthy interest in this sort of activity.
“You engaged in conversation with young girls to encourage them to engage in sexual activity with them.
“Heaven knows how they will be affected in their future lives.
“They may seem to be only images but they are young children being exploited by others.
“Huge sums of money are made by people who have a prurient interest in this sort of material.
“I would be failing in my public duty if I did anything other than pass an immediate custodial sentence.”
Prosecutor Jonathan Austin said told the court police seized computer equipment when they executed a search warrant at the address in September 2012.
He said Barlow. who lived with his parents, also had a fetish for feet and persuaded other girls to show their feet via his webcam.
Officers found a total of 2,200 indecent images and 116 films of children had also been downloaded off the internet.
Defending Owen Edwards said his client had pretended to be Justin Bieber, and others younger than himself, to entice naive young girls.
He said: “This behaviour is shocking.
“He has to face up to what he has done and to face up to the sentence. He knows he is going to prison.
“This is yet another of these sad examples of the internet opening up activities which would never have been indulged in had it not been there.”
After the case DC Rachel Garbutt ,from North Wales Police, said: “The sentence sends out a strong message to the community that these types of offences will not be tolerated.
“These offences are never victimless and people who commit them will be dealt with accordingly by the police and the courts.”
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