A Salford man who created a fake profile on a social networking site so that he could sexually abuse a child has been jailed.
Brandon Cooper (16/07/95) of Brook House Avenue, Eccles has today (Tuesday 16 July 2019) been sentenced at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square to one year and four months in prison. He previously pleaded guilty to inciting a child to commit a sexual act.
He will also have to sign the sex offenders register for ten years and be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for life.
In August 2018, police received a report from the victim’s father who was concerned about messages of a sexual nature, which his son had received through a social networking platform.
The victim – a boy who was under the age of 13 at the time of the abuse – had been contacted online by Cooper, who was using a fake name and profile. Cooper cloned the account of a well-known, local body builder in order to gain the trust of the young victim.
He went onto send the child messages of a sexual nature and incite him to commit a sexual act.
The court heard how the man who Cooper impersonated was initially arrested as part of early enquiries, but thankfully he was quickly eliminated by detectives who were able to uncover the truth.
Detective Constable Tina Jackson, of GMP’s Project Phoenix team in Bury, said: “Cooper’s actions could easily have robbed a young person of his childhood. It is only due to the resilience of this young victim that he feels able to put this incident behind him and move on. Considering his age this is remarkable, however nothing should take away from the severity of Cooper’s abuse.
“In impersonating an innocent man in an attempt to veil his identity and sadistically lure the young victim in, Cooper spared no thought for the consequences of his actions and the damage he could have done to another, innocent person’s life.
“This investigation only goes to reiterate the need to be safe online and the fact that you can never be 100% certain who is behind a computer screen. So, I would speak directly to parents and guardians and stress the need to discuss with their children the risks of modern-day social networking sites and how they can keep safe online.”
For information on protecting children from Child Sexual Exploitation and how to seek support or report concerns visit www.itsnotokay.co.uk