A 28-year-old “dangerous paedophile” from Luton has been jailed for nine years after pleading guilty to a string of online child sex offences.
Jacob Freckleton, of Rushall Green, was sentenced at Luton Crown Court today after he pleaded guilty to 15 offences including making indecent images of a child and inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity.
His nine-year jail term will be followed by five years on an extended license period.
Freckleton took advantage of the web to contact and befriend girls under the age of 13. He persuaded them to take part in sexual acts which he then recorded to his mobile phone and laptop.
One horrified mum wrote: “He has taken away our daughter’s innocence.”
Freckleton’s offending was finally brought to light when the mother of one of the children checked her daughter’s phone and found shocking images.
Two of the mothers whose children were exploited by Freckleton wrote to the court ahead of his sentencing and described the impact of his actions.
One mother wrote: “Our daughter’s young age was exploited and it shows how easy it is for a predator to talk to a child and find out where they live. I have gone through a range of emotions and can’t help but worry for my children and the dangers they could encounter on the internet.
“It took a lot of courage for our daughter to attend the police station and carry out an interview discussing the matter. Since the day we found out, we have noticed a change in her behaviour and have seen her school life suffer. I feel she is trying to isolate herself and hide away...”
Another mum wrote: “I was horrified at the thought of these images being found on the offender’s laptop and I pray that they haven’t been shared with anyone else.
“Knowing that the images are out there of my daughter for others to view for their own sexual gratification makes me physically feel sick.”
Investigating officer Paul Baddeley said: “We are delighted with the result from court today as we have succeeded in removing another child sex offender from society.
“The judge’s opening comment was ‘Jacob Freckleton, you are a dangerous paedophile’ and he will be on the sex offenders’ register for life and no longer a danger to children.
“Freckleton took advantage of these girls in a most abhorrent way by infiltrating their bedrooms - these are violations within their own homes. There is absolutely no excuse for his sickening behaviour and we’re committed to tackling offenders to prevent them from causing further harm, as well as providing support and justice to victims.
“This case is a stark reminder of just how important it is to educate children that they must protect themselves online. This includes not talking to anyone they don’t know in real life, not sharing any personal information, and keeping privacy settings as high as possible.
“We’d advise parents to have a conversation with their children about online safety, and make sure that they feel confident in speaking up about anything they see online which makes them feel uncomfortable.”
An NSPCC spokesperson added: “Freckleton is clearly a dangerous predator who manipulated young girls into sending images of themselves for his own twisted gratification.
“It is far too easy for predators to groom children online with devastating effects.
“The NSPCC’s #WildWestWeb campaign is calling on Culture Secretary Matt Hancock to force social media companies to use technology to flag up grooming behaviour to moderators and warn children before they are abused.
“Any child concerned about inappropriate behaviour online can call Childline for advice on 0800 1111 or use the 1-2-1 chat service via www.childline.org.uk.”
To report concerns around child sexual abuse, call the police on 101.